On Friday, USDA will issue the results of its monthly survey of feedlots with +1000 head capacity and the attached table shows what some analysts expect the report to show. On average analysts think the inventory of caƩle on feed on April 1 will be about 0.3% higher than the previous year.

If correct, this would imply an April 1 inventory of around 11.933 million head, about 230k head smaller than what it was on March 1.  Seasonally inventories decline into Q2 as placements slow down while slaughter picks up.

The supply of market ready cattle remains large by historical standards and we do not expect any significant change until later this summer. If analysts are correct, the inventory of cattle with +120 days on feed as of April 1 was 4.530 million head, only 1% smaller than a year ago and about 4.7% higher than the five year average.

Daily Livestock Report: Read complete analysis