Cattle on Feed Preview 04/19 15:15
By John A. Harrington
DTN Livestock Analyst
USDA Actual Average Guess Range
Cattle on Feed:
On Feed April 1 xxxxx 107.5% 106.5-108.0%
Placed in March xxxxx 90.0% 85.0-94.0%
Marketed in March xxxxx 96.0% 95.0-96.5%
Monitors of feedlot supplies should be bracing themselves for a
surprise when USDA unveils the April 1 On Feed report Friday
afternoon (2:00 CDT). Well, at least a small one. For the first
time in 12 months, March placement activity should be confirmed
to total below the previous year.
Yet we'd take that widespread prediction with a grain of salt.
Although last month's in-movement is likely to fall 10% (or
more) below March of 2017, it needs to be kept in perspective.
Specifically, last year's placement was the largest seen since
the data series began in 1996. So even if last month's placement
fell 10% short of that high-water market, it could still
represent the largest late-winter purchase of feedlot
replacement seen since 2004.
The March marketing total could also look a bit misleading for a
difference reason. Last month contained one fewer business day
than March 2017. Accordingly, if the monthly total turns out 4%
shy of the previous year, the daily average marketing in March
would still be about even with 2017.
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