Cattle Sales Seen Bullish for Prices


CHICAGO (Reuters) — Record-high cattle prices in March had U.S. feedlots selling a huge number of steers and heifers to slaughterhouses then, which should have pared cattle numbers enough to keep prices high, analysts said on Thursday.

The U.S. Agriculture Department on Thursday said U.S. feedlots sent 1.988 million cattle to slaughterhouses in March, up 4.5 percent from a year earlier and the highest for March in 11 years and the second highest on record.

The marketings should lift April cattle futures on Monday at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, while August futures could be pressured by heavy weight placements, analysts said.

“U.S. marketings had to make up for the lack of Canadian cattle coming south,” said Jim Robb, economist with Livestock Marketing Information Center.

The Canadian herd has declined over the years and this year high cattle prices there have further slowed the number being shipped to the United States. As a result, U.S. beef plants have had to buy more U.S. cattle.

USDA reported 11.277 million cattle were in feedlots on April 1, up 5 percent from a year ago and in line with trade estimates.

Cattle placed in feedlots in March were up 3.4 percent, about as expected, but what was not expected was a 22 percent in placements weighing 800 lbs or more. Increases had been expected in the lighter weight categories; instead, those numbers were all down from the previous year.

“That is a big increase in the 800 plus category. Nobody expected that,” said Jim Clarkson, analyst with A&A Trading. “That is negative August cattle.”

Cattle on Feed Report:


USDA Actual:  105{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2}

Average Guess:  105{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2}

Guess Range:  104{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2} – 106{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2}


USDA Actual:  103{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2}

Average Guess:  104{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2}

Guess Range:  98.5{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2} – 109{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2}


USDA Actual:  104{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2}

Average Guess:  103{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2}

Guess Range:  102.5{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2} – 105{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2}

Source:  Reuters

Posted by Haylie Shipp


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