According to USDA, cattle placements on feed during the month of June were slightly lower than expected.
Placements last month were 1.455 million head, down 6% from June 2013 and below Dow Jones’ average estimate for a 4.4% decline. Cash prices are at record levels and feed costs are down, but feeder cattle supplies are extremely tight and pasture conditions have improved. Most of the placements were heavier weight cattle, weighing more than 700 pounds: cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 400,000 head and 600 to 699 pounders were 245,000 head, while the 700 to 799 pound category was 320,000 head and cattle weighing more than 800 pounds were 490,000 head.
Marketings came out at 1.847 million head, 2% less than last year and in-line with expectations, and the lowest fed cattle marketings for the month of June since the series of reports started in 1996.
The total number of cattle on feed in the U.S. on July 1 was 10.127 million head, 2% lower than a year ago.
Other disappearances were 75,000 head, a 19% year to year increase.
The report generally looks neutral.