The USDA says placements, marketings, and the number of cattle on feed at the start of August were all up on the year.
Placements on to feed in July were 8% above a year ago at 1.742 million head, mostly cattle weighing less than 800 pounds as drought pushed inventory off grass and into feedlots, despite steep losses on finished cattle, which Allendale expects to continue through February 2019.
By weight, placements of cattle weighing less than 600 pounds were 410,000 head, 600 to 699 pound placements were 290,000 head, and 700 to 799 placements were 415,000 head, while 800 to 899 pounders were 367,000 head, the 900 to 999 pound category was 175,000 head, and placements of cattle weighing 1,000 pounds and heavier were 85,000 head.
Marketings were up 5% at 1.873 million head and the total number of cattle on feed was 5% higher at 11.093 million, the highest August 1st total since the series of reports started in 1996.
The numbers look bearish, but were close to what analysts had been expecting, and nearby live cattle futures prices are below the most recent round of direct cash prices, potentially limiting some of the impact.
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