Market News & Headlines >> December Feedlot Placements Below Expectations

Friday afternoon’s monthly Cattle on Feed report held some friendly news for the live cattle market, showing December feedlot placements below the range of trade expectations.

However, that news did not prevent live cattle futures from coming under further pressure Monday morning from technical weakness and demand concerns.

USDA pegged December placements 8.0% below a year earlier vs. trade estimates that averaged 3.5% lower in a range from 0.6%-7.7% lower, according to a Bloomberg News survey of 12 livestock analysts. At 1.544 million head, December placements were 135,000 head below a year earlier and were the lowest for the month in 5 years.

USDA pegged the Jan. 1 feedlot inventory 0.9% above a year earlier, near the low end of trade expectations that averaged 1.6% above a year earlier. At 10.690 million head the feedlot inventory was 100,000 head above a year earlier, but 183,000 head below a month earlier.

December feedlot marketings came in 4.7% lower than a year earlier and slightly below the average of trade estimates, which was 4.3% lower. At 1.655 million head, December marketings were 81,000 head below a year earlier and were the lowest for the month in seven years.