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Cattle placements down, marketings up sharply

Placements of cattle into U.S. feedlots dipped in April.

The USDA says 1.656 million U.S. cattle went on feed in April, a decline of 6% on the year due to the tight supply of feeder cattle. That will limit the number of cattle marketed later this year and should support already high cash and wholesale prices.

April 2024 marketings were up 10% from April 2023 at 1.872 million head as sellers tried to take advantage of those high prices, while May 1st cattle on feed total was 1% lower at 11.554 million head.

The numbers were close to pre-report estimates and while they look supportive to prices, any near-term influence might already be priced in.

Comparisons for Brownfield states:

Iowa: On Feed: 660,000 head up 2% from May 1st, 2023; Placements: 89,000 head, 2% lower than April 2023; Marketings: 87,000 head, 10% more than last year

Kansas: On Feed: 2.3 million head, down 6% from May 1st, 2023; Placements: 370,000 head, 12% lower than April 2023; Marketings: 460,000 head, 15% more than last year

Minnesota: On Feed: 110,000 head, up 10% from May 1st, 2023; Placements: 16,000 head, unchanged from April 2023; Marketings: 10,000 head, steady with last year

Nebraska: On Feed: 2.51 million head, down 1% from May 1st, 2023; Placements: 445,000 head, 3% higher than April 2023; Marketings: 465,000 head, 13% more than last year

South Dakota: On Feed: 245,000 head, up 11% from May 1st, 2023; Placements: 30,000 head, 3% lower than April 2023; Marketings: 34,000 head, 13% more than last year

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