It is still possible that supplies of fattened cattle will be very tight in the U.S. toward the end of the year, despite a jump in placements in April at twice the pace that the market expected, a leading analyst says.

Prices of live cattle - that is, those ready for slaughter - tumbled the maximum daily limit in Chicago to a five-month low on data showing the number of animals placed for finishing in U.S. feedlots jumping 9.9% last month.

The rise was way above a market forecast of a 4.3% increase, and put placements at nearly 1.8-million head, the second-highest April figure since the USDA began publishing this data series in 1996.

Market sentiment was further damaged by separate statistics showing a rise of 20%, year on year, to 442.8 million lbs. in the amount of beef in cold storage as of the start of this month – the highest figure for 37 years.

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