The latest Cattle on Feed report shows herd contraction continues

The U.S. cattle herd is still showing signs of contraction. This month’s Cattle on Feed report showed placements were 4 percent above this time last month, and while livestock analysts say slaughter numbers are down, there are other factors at play.

“Some of that gets offset by the fact that we have heavier cattle now, as they’ve been staying on in feedlots longer and with relatively less expensive feed. There’s still strong demand for feeder cattle going into lots, and relatively strong placement levels during the month of May came in despite the fact that we’re seeing, you know, relatively elevated prices all throughout the supply chain,” said Mike McConnell.

At the start of this month, there were 11.58 million cattle in feed lots, which is lower than around the same time last year. 2.05 million head were placed, which is up 4 percent, and 1.96 million were marketed, which is up only slightly.

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