OSU’s Derrell Peel on April Cattle on Feed Report- Placements Down 12% and Marketings Down 14% Versus Last Year

Listen to Ron Hays talk with Derrell Peel about the April Cattle on Feed Report.

Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, is talking with Oklahoma State University Livestock Market Economist, Derrell Peel about the April Cattle on Feed Report released on April 19, 2024.

“This April Cattle on Feed Report put placements in the Month of March down 12 percent from a year ago,” Peel said. “Marketings in the month of March were down 14 percent from a year ago. The April 1st on feed total was 11.82 million head, which is still up 1 percent over last year’s numbers.”

Peel said feedlot inventories have been above the year-ago numbers for the seventh month in a row, but there have also been months with some surprisingly large placements.

“If you look at the last six months, on average, placements have been down about 2.5 percent if you sum them up for the whole six months, and that would explain most of the cattle that are in the feedlot right now,” Peel said. “If you look at the trend over time, we are placing less cattle because there is less cattle and we know that. We have known that for quite some time.”

Looking at the marketing numbers, Peel said there is a lot of seasonality to these trends. When evaluating each month as the percent of the cattle on feed for that month, Peel said the average for the last 12 months is the slowest marketing pace since 1997.

“We have slowed down the marketing pace and that means that feedlots are leaving the animals that they do have in the feedlot longer,” Peel said.

Carcass weights have been impacted as well, Peel said, as they have been counter-seasonally higher, reflecting that the feedlots are maintaining their inventories by keeping those cattle longer.

Peel said beef production is falling, but increasing carcass weights can moderate it to some extent.

“We are running about 25 pounds heavier than a year ago on steer carcass weights on average for the last four or five weeks,” Peel said.

To view the April USDA Cattle on Feed Report, CLICK HERE.

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