USDA reports second highest cattle on feed in July since 1996


The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its cattle on feed report for July 1st, and it fell closely in line with expectations, limiting any attempt at the market to be shocked. August Live cattle finished the day up at $0.475, and the week down $1.95, to close at $101.325.

According to Anne Wasko of the Gateway Livestock Exchange, “none of this is a surprise, but more confirmation of what we have been expecting to see based on what the market has been faced with the past 90 days due to COVID-19 impacts.”

Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totalled 11.4 million head on July 1, 2020. The inventory was slightly below July 1, 2019, making it the second-highest July 1 inventory since the series began in 1996. The inventory included 7.03 million steers and steer calves, up slightly from the previous year. This group accounted for 61 per cent of the total inventory. Heifers and heifer calves accounted for 4.41 million head, down 1 per cent from 2019.

Placements in feedlots during June totalled 1.80 million head — 2 per cent above 2019. Net placements were 1.74 million head. During June, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 430,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 310,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 360,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 413,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 200,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 85,000 head.

Marketings of fed cattle during June totalled 1.97 million head, 1 per cent above 2019.

Other disappearance totalled 62,000 head during June, 6 per cent below 2019.

There was 103 million head of cattle and calves on U.S. farms as of July 1, 2020, according to the most recent Cattle report published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Of the 103 million head inventory, all cows and heifers that have calved totalled 41.4 million. The report also states there are 32.1 million beef cows in the United States as of July 1, 2020, which is down 1 per cent from last year. As well, the U.S. calf crop was estimated at 35.8 million head, down from 1 per cent from 2019. All cattle on feed were at 14.6 million head, unchanging from 2018.

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