Source: Steiner Consulting Group

The July Cattle on Feed pre-report estimates show that analysts are expecting the July 1 Cattle on feed to be marginally above a year ago at 100.1 or 11.716 million head. If the COF pre-report estimate holds it will be the second highest on record for the month of July, only behind 2019 (11.728 million head). Analysts are expecting June cattle placements to be 94.7% of a year ago down to 1.581 million head which would be the lowest for the month of June since 2016. Cattle marketings are expected to be higher in June at 102.0% or 2.062 million head, the highest for June in over a decade.

Pre-report estimates are also available for the July 1 cattle inventory report which provides valuable information on available cattle supplies. In each of the categories surveyed, analysts are expecting lower levels from a year ago.

All Cattle and Calves on July 1 are expected to be down 2.1% to 98.683 million head. Cows and heifers that have calved are estimated to be 2.6% lower to 39.739 million head with beef cows and heifers along with dairy cows and heifers expected to be 3.0% and 1.2% lower, respectively, to 30.361 and 9.386 million head.

Heifers 500 pounds and heavier are expected lower by 1.9% to 15.696 million head. Dairy replacement heifers and other heifers are estimated down 1.8% and 1.2%, respectively, to 3.928 and 7.608 million head.

Beef replacement heifers are expected to be 3.2% lower to 4.162 million head with a wider range of estimates from down 2.3% to as much as 4.7%. The wider estimate range for beef replacement heifers likely indicates varying opinions on herd rebuilding efforts.

Steers 500 pounds and heavier are expected to be down from last year by 1.2% to 14.326 million head. Bulls 500 pounds and heavier along with calves under 500 pounds are both expected to be lower by 2.8% and 1.9% to 2.041 and 26.879 million head.

Analysts expect a 2.0% decline in the calf crop to 34.383 million head indicating cattle supplies are expected to remain tight into 2023.