Peel Offers Cattle on Feed Analysis

Oklahoma State University Livestock Market Economist Derrell Peel talks about the April Cattle on Feed Report released on April 19.

“This April Cattle on Feed Report put placements in the Month of March down 12 percent from a year ago. Marketings in the month of March were down 14 percent from a year ago. The April 1 on feed total was 11.82 million head, which is still up one percent over last year’s numbers.” 

Peel says feedlot inventories have been above the year-ago numbers for the seventh month in a row, but there have also been months with some surprisingly large placements.

“If you look at the last six months, on average, placements have been down about 2.5 percent if you sum them up for the whole six months, and that would explain most of the cattle that are in the feedlot right now. If you look at the trend over time, we are placing less cattle because there is less cattle and we know that. We have known that for quite some time.” 

Looking at the marketing numbers, Peel says there is a lot of seasonality to these trends. When evaluating each month as the percent of the cattle on feed for that month, Peel adds the average for the last 12 months is the slowest marketing pace since 1997.