Cattle on Feed Report: Placements Lighter Than Expected

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USDA says cattle feedlot inventories totaled 10.725 million head on Dec. 1, roughly 100,000 head fewer than traders were anticipating. This is second lowest Dec. 1 feedlot number since USDA's current data series began in 1996. The mildly smaller-than-expected On Feed number was due to the combination of Placements coming in nearly four percentage points under expectations and Marketings slightly outpacing the pre-report guess.

Report details


Avg. Trade Guess


% of year-ago levels

On Feed











A weight breakdown of calves entering feedlots last month shows all categories except 600 pounders declining from year-ago levels. Lightweight placements dropped 10.7%, 6-weights rose 13.3%, 7-weights dropped 6.0% and heavyweight placements came in 6.2% under year-ago levels in November.

The On Feed and Marketing categories were very close to the pre-report guesses, meaning there will be little impact on nearby live cattle futures from this data. But deferred cattle futures should find some support from the lower-than-expected Placements figure.




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