Cattle On Feed: Down 3.1 Per Cent On Previous June

US - USDA says the number of cattle on feed in large feedlots at the start of June was down 3.1 per cent compared to June 2012, writes Ron Plain from the University of Missouri.
calendar icon 24 June 2013
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Ron Plain
Ron Plain

The pre-release trade forecast was for the on-feed number to be down 3.5 per cent . This is the tenth consecutive month the number of cattle on feed has been below the year-ago level. The June on-feed number is the lowest for any June since 2010.

USDA said May placements of cattle into large feed yards (over 1,000 head capacity) were 1.7 per cent lower than in May 2012. The decline was due in part to very high placements in May 2012 and in part to a lot of red ink in recent closeouts. The 2.049 million head placed was the least for any May since 2011. The average of pre-release trade forecasts was for May placements to be down 4.1 per cent .

USDA said marketings of fed cattle from large feed yards during May totaled 1.949 million head, down 3.4 per cent compared to May 2012, and the least for any May since 2010. The trade predicted May marketings would be down 2.1 per cent . May steer and heifer slaughter was down 2.5 per cent compared to a year ago.

The number of cattle placed on feed weighing less than 600 pounds was down 25.0 per cent from the previous May. Placements of feeders weighing 600 to 700 pounds were down 16.7 per cent ; placements weighing 700 to 800 pounds were up 4.7 per cent , and placements weighing more than 800 pounds were up 19.6 per cent compared to a year earlier. The calculated average weight of cattle placed on feed during May was up 3.2 per cent from May 2012.

The average retail price for choice beef during May was $5.241 per pound. That was down 2.3 cents from April, but up 27.6 cents from May 2012. Slaughter steer prices averaged $127.50/cwt in May, the same as April, and up $6.40 from May 2012.

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