By Kirk Maltais

The Department of Agriculture's latest Cattle on Feed report shows that marketing of cattle on feedlots exceeded forecast of analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal.

In its report Friday, the USDA said that 1.87 million head of fed cattle were marketed for the month through May 1. That's 10.1% higher than last year's amount, and beats the 9.5-point uptick expected by surveyed analysts for the month.

Overall inventories of cattle on feedlots were 11.55 million head. That's down 0.9% from the same time last year, which is on the mark of where analysts expected that figure to be. New placements of cattle totaled 1.66 million head, which is down 5.8% from this time last year, not as big of a drop as expected by analysts, who had expected that figure to fall 6.7%.

Live cattle futures trading on the CME finished the day up 0.1%, to $1.81325 a pound, in anticipation of this report as well as the USDA's Cold Storage report, which was also released Thursday. Lean hog futures closed down 0.2%, to 97.325 cents a pound.

To see related data, search "USDA Monthly Cattle on Feed Data" in Dow Jones NewsPlus.

Write to Kirk Maltais at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-24-24 1540ET