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Cattle on Feed Report     04/19  14:35

April 1 Cattle on Feed  From Year Ago

By DTN Staff

                      USDA Actual   Average Estimate       Range
On Feed April 1          101%           102.0%      101.6-102.5%
Placed in March           88%            92.8%        90.0-94.7%
Marketed in March         86%            89.0%        86.5-91.3%

This article was originally published at 2:07 p.m. CDT on 
Friday, April 19. It was last updated with DTN analysis at 2:35 
p.m. CDT on Friday, April 19.


OMAHA (DTN) -- Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter 
market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 
or more head totaled 11.8 million head on April 1, 2024. The 
inventory was 1% above April 1, 2023, USDA NASS reported on 

The inventory included 7.27 million steers and steer calves, up 
2% from the previous year. This group accounted for 61% of the 
total inventory. Heifers and heifer calves accounted for 4.56 
million head, up 1% from 2023.

Placements in feedlots during March totaled 1.75 million head, 
12% below 2023. Net placements were 1.69 million head. During 
March, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 
pounds were 330,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 260,000 head, 700-
799 pounds were 460,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 466,000 head, 
900-999 pounds were 170,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater 
were 60,000 head.

Marketings of fed cattle during March totaled 1.71 million head, 
14% below 2023.

Other disappearance totaled 57,000 head during March, 8% above 


"Friday's Cattle on Feed report comes as a sweet surprise to the 
cattle complex, as placements were expected to be lower, but the 
actual 12% decline compared to a year ago wasn't forecast," said 
DTN Livestock Analyst ShayLe Stewart. 

"To break the placement data down more thoroughly, there were 
exactly 1,746,000 head of feeder cattle placed in March of 2024, 
which is 12% less than a year ago, and 8% less than a month ago. 
When comparing Friday's data to a year ago, there wasn't one 
weight division that saw greater placements year over year. When 
comparing Friday's data to the placements seen last month, the 
only weight division that saw greater month-over-month 
placements was the feeders weighing 1,000 pounds or more. And 
the only states that saw greater month-over-month placements 
were Texas (up 3%) and Oklahoma (up 8%), which could be being 
influenced by feeder cattle imports from Mexico.
"Analysts forecast total on-feed numbers to be around 102% of a 
year ago, but to the market's surprise, total on-feed numbers 
came in at 11,838,000 head, which is just 1% more than a year 
ago. Yes, total on-feed numbers are greater than a year ago, but 
thankfully, the report's data didn't surpass the market's 
expectations. And seeing the number of cattle marketed less than 
expected isn't bewildering given that packers have decreased 
processing speeds to manage supplies. 

"All in all, Friday's Cattle on Feed report will likely be seen 
as neutral to somewhat supportive but likely won't have much of 
an effect on Monday's trade."


DTN subscribers can view the full Cattle on Feed reports in the 
Livestock Archives folder under the Markets menu. The report is 
also available at https://www.nass.usda.gov/.

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