The average guess for the number of cattle in US feedyards as of June 1 in Urner Barry’s survey was 1.3% above a year ago.
The US Department of Agriculture’s monthly on-feed report is scheduled for release later on Friday, at 20:00 UK time (14:00 Chicago time).
The June 1 on-feed number is predicted on average to be 11.703m head, down 115,000 head, or 1%, from the previous month’s figure of 11.818m but still record high for June, on records dating back to start of the current data series in 1996.
The current record for June 1 on feed was set last year at 11.553m head.
The five-year average for the on-feed number is 10.904m head.
Corn price impact?
Placements of young cattle into the feedyards in May were predicted to be 4.1% below the year-ago level.
The range of guesses for placements was from 1.1-6.8% below the year-ago figure.
A jump in corn prices along with big placement numbers earlier contributed to the expectations of lower placements in May.
July corn futures rose 64 ½ cents a bushel, or nearly 18%, during the month of May due mainly to delayed planting of crops from the very wet conditions across the Corn Belt.
Corn prices have risen even further so far in June.
The average of analysts’ projections for placements last month puts the number at 2.037m head, 4.4% above the five-year average.
The placement number in May last year was 2.124m head.
Marketings, or those shipped out for slaughter during the month, were predicted on average at 0.8% above a year ago.
The average guess for marketings projects a figure of 2.072m head, 10.5% above the five-year average.
May had the same number of weekdays as a year ago.