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 12.0 million head on May 1, 2022. The inventory was 2% above May 1, 2021. This is the highest May 1 inventory since the series began in 1996, USDA NASS reported on Friday, May 20.
Placements in feedlots during April totaled 1.81 million head, 1% below 2021. Net placements were 1.76 million head. During April, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 355,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 270,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 415,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 489,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 210,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 70,000 head.
Marketings of fed cattle during April totaled 1.89 million head, 2% below 2021.
Other disappearance totaled 54,000 head during April, 2% below 2021.
"Friday's Cattle on Feed report doesn't share any startling unthought-of realities, but it sobers one's viewpoint moving forward," said DTN Livestock Analyst ShayLe Stewart.
"First, even though this dead horse has been beaten enough already, the U.S. sits with a pile of cattle on feed. Friday's report shared that for the May 1 inventory, total on-feed numbers equated to 11,967,000 head -- the highest May 1 inventory since the series began in 1996. The states that saw the biggest year-over-year increase in cattle on feed were California (up 5%), Colorado (up 5%), Nebraska (up 5%) and Texas (up 3%). The states of Iowa (down 6%), Minnesota (down 9%) and South Dakota (down 6%) all saw decreases. In the months ahead, strong throughput will be incredibly important to keep the market from falling into the trap of having a backlog of cattle to work through.
"Second, it was surprising to still see placements at 99% of a year ago, equating to 1,809,000 head, which was again fueled by drought conditions. Compared to a year ago, the states with the biggest jumps in placements were California (up 19%), Washington (up 13%), Minnesota (up 8%) and Oklahoma (up 8%). When compared to a month ago, most of the states saw a decrease in placements, but the two states of California (up 7%) and Washington (up 9%) still saw higher placement. Overall, though, compared to a month ago, placements were down 9% throughout the U.S. The weight divisions that saw the biggest year-over-year increase were those weighing 600 to 699 pounds (up 20,000 head) and those weighing 800 to 899 pounds (up 4,000 head).
"In the months ahead, it will be inherently important to watch processing speeds, as throughout will gravely affect the market's ability to demand stronger prices moving forward."
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/….
|USDA Actual||Average Estimate||Range|
|On Feed May 1||102%||101.5%||101.2-101.8%|
|Placed in April||99%||96.5%||93.6-97.8%|
|Marketed in April||98%||97.9%||97.7-98.0%|
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