ArrowStream commodity expert David Maloni noted the August 1st U.S. cattle-on-feed inventory was just 0.2 percent larger than last year with placements into feedlots in July 2.1 percent lower vs. 2018. Maloni explains why this is significant and what the projection models show for beef supplies:
"This is important as steers and heifers are typically placed on feed for roughly 150 days before coming to slaughter, so feedlot inventories are a good indication of pending beef production levels," explains Maloni. "We model the number of cattle in those feedlots that should be near slaughter-ready when they reach 120 days of residency. July placements mark the third consecutive month of year-over-year placement declines, which is modeled to tighten available slaughter-ready cattle inventories in the late fall."