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Cattle on Feed Report Preview    05/19  17:58

Cattle Market Watching On-Feed Numbers Closely in May 1 USDA 

By ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst

                      USDA Actual   Average Estimate       Range
On Feed May 1                          101.5%       101.2-101.8%
Placed in April                         96.5%         93.6-97.8%
Marketed in April                       97.9%         97.7-98.0%

OMAHA (DTN) -- Friday's USDA Cattle on Feed report will be one 
that the market watches closely. On-feed numbers are expected to 
decrease from a month ago, as placements have lessened and 
marketings have been superb. But the real question is this: How 
does the report align with year-ago figures, and specifically, 
how many cattle are still on feed?

The market is fully aware that record numbers of cattle sit in 
feedlots thanks to drought pressures, so instead of being 
consumed with that reality, cattlemen are more concerned about 
tracking placements and trying to forecast what the live cattle 
market could do in the early to mid-fall and when the glut of 
on-feed supplies will begin to lessen. Paying close attention to 
the weight breakdown of placements will be key in this report, 
as it will help indicate fat cattle availabilities in the later 
months. In the months ahead, watching marketing data will become 
the market's focus as cattlemen and feedlots alike want on-feed 
supplies to be worked through as quickly as possible.

USDA will release its May 1 Cattle on Feed report at 2 p.m. CDT 
on Friday.

ShayLe Stewart can be reached at

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