Cattle placements in March down 23% on year
The supply of market ready cattle will be a lot tighter later this year.
The USDA says placements of cattle into feedlots during March 2020 dropped 23% on the year at 1.557 million head, the lowest for the month since the series of reports started in 1996, mostly cattle weighing between 700 and 900 pounds, generally heading to market in September through November. By weight, placements of cattle weighing less than 600 pounds were 310,000 head, 600 to 699 pound placements were 220,000 head, and 700 to 799 pound placements were 410,000 head, while placements of cattle weighing 800 to 899 pounds were 402,000 head, 900 to 999 pound placements were 155,000 head, and placements of cattle weighing 1,000 pounds and up were 60,000 head.
Marketings during March were up 13% to 2.01 million, the second highest for March on record, while the total number of cattle on feed on April 1st was 5% below a year ago at 11.297 million head.
The numbers are expected to be supportive long-term for cattle prices.