Cattle on Feed Report to be Released Friday May Show Six Percent Higher Placements in July Than a Year AgoThu, 20 Aug 2020 05:13:58 CDT
USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will be releasing the August 1 Cattle on Feed report this Friday, August 21st. Industry pre-report estimates have cattle on feed as of August 1 on average increasing marginally to 100.9 percent of a year ago. On average analysts expect cattle placed in July to be up 6.1 percent while July cattle marketings are expected to decrease slightly, down less than 1 percent from last year on average.
The last two months (June and July) cattle on feed have been similar to the prior year's levels. The average of analyst's estimates expect August to be higher than last year with the top end of the on-feed range setting a new record level for cattle on feed for the month of August. Typically, cattle on feed numbers reach the lowest point of the year in September, but marketing numbers have been sluggish even after slaughter disruptions have been mostly eliminated. It seems unlikely the low for cattle on feed this year will be set in September, especially given the droughty conditions in the U.S. Cattle on pasture could see movement a little early this year, and is a contributing factor to higher placements in August as well.
The most recent Drought Monitor map released August 13th has over three quarters (76.99%) of the western U.S. experiencing dryness or drought. The most recent USDA NASS report on pasture and range conditions indicated that 35% are rated as poor and very poor condition. Dryness and drought along with a lack of available forage and pasture may be leading producers to place cattle sooner than expected. July cattle placements are expected to be large, with the average estimate equating to the highest level for August since 2012. Part of the expectation for higher cattle placements is higher feeder cattle imports from Mexico. In July, weekly import data showed about 45,000 more head crossed the border than last year.
Weekly receipts of cattle moving through auction barns last month was also quite a bit higher, up 7%. Feeder cattle receipts through all channels (auctions, direct sales, and video/internet) were up 1.2% in the month of July. Still, there is a relatively wide range around placement numbers. From top to bottom, the pre-report analyst placement range spans 119,000 head, indicating there is still considerable uncertainty.
Source- Daily Livestock Report
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