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USDA Cattle On Feed and Cattle Inventory         07/19 15:35

By John A. Harrington
DTN Livestock Analyst

                        USDA Actual  Average Guess      Range
Cattle On Feed:
On Feed July 1             xxxxxx        104.0%     102.5-106.0%
Placed in June             xxxxxx        101.5%      95.5-106.5%
Marketed in June           xxxxxx        101.0%      98.5-106.5%

The July Cattle on Feed report set for release on Friday is 
expected to reveal exceptional marketings and a narrowing of on-
feed inventories relative to the year prior. If marketings come 
in as expected, they will be relatively in line with steer and 
heifer slaughters seen throughout June. Yet when adjusted for 
one less business day in 2018, the total may be up 5.5% from the 
year prior.

Placement activity will be compared with the largest placement 
total in 11 years. If realized, it will be the second-largest 
June placement total since 2006. With June marketings seasonally 
exceeding placements, on-feed inventories are expected to ease, 
falling toward 11.2 million head on-feed, but are expected to 
remain record large for the month and nearly 4% larger than the 
year prior.

The July 1 Cattle Inventory report will be released at the same 
time as the on-feed data. This report typically lacks the 
respect commanded by the Jan. 1 herd survey becomes it is based 
on a much smaller sample. Nevertheless it should echo the same 
trend identified in January (i.e., ongoing expanding, but at a 
slowing pace).

Our guess is that the total herd count on July 1 will be 
documented around 103 million head, about a half percent more 
than midsummer 2017. Beef cows should total close to 1% greater 
than last year (around 33 million). And the first estimate of 
the 2018 is likely to be close to 36.4 million head, 1-1.5%.

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