Ahead of Friday’s USDA cattle on feed update, analysts, on average, expect month to month declines in all the major categories.
Via Dow Jones Newswires, the average pre-report estimate for the total number of cattle on feed on March 1 is 93.5% of a year ago, potentially the smallest March 1 total since 2010 as the U.S. herd continues to contract. Projections range from 92.9% to 94.6%. Placements on feed during February are seen at 91.0% of a year ago with the National Weather Service calling drought conditions around the Great Plains severe to exceptional. Expectations run from 86.3% to 96.3%. Marketings are pegged at 92.7% of a year ago, with one less weekday in February 2013 than in February 2012 and estimates ranging from 91.2% to 96.0%.
Also out Friday are the monthly cold storage numbers. According to analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires, all pork and possibly ham could be an end of February record because of slow demand and high production, while beef stocks are expected to be down on the month but up on the year and above the five year average. The average estimate for pork in cold storage on March 1 is 637.5 million pounds, with ham at 122.7 million pounds, and the average guess for beef stocks is 475.9 million pounds.
The reports are out Friday, March 22 at 3 PM Eastern/2 PM Central.