Market News & Headlines >> December Feedlot Placements, Marketings Seen Down

The USDA monthly Cattle on Feed report set to be released Friday afternoon is expected to show the supply of cattle in U.S. feedlots as of Jan. 1 remained about 1.6% larger than a year earlier as slow monthly marketings again largely offset lower placements in December.

The feedlot inventory is still expected to be down seasonally from Dec. 1.

Estimates of the January 1 feedlot inventory average 1.6% above a year earlier in a range from 0.8% to 2.4% above, according to a survey of 12 analysts by Bloomberg News. At the average of trade estimates, the U.S. feedlot inventory would total 10.755 million head, up 165,000 from a year earlier, but down 121,000 head from Dec. 1.

Expectations for December feedlot placements average 3.5% below a year earlier in a range from 0.6% to 7.7% lower. The average of trade estimates implies December feedlot placements of 1.621 million head, down 78,000 from a year earlier and down 171,000 head from November.

Expectations for December feedlot marketings average 4.3% below a year earlier in a range from unchanged to 7.7% lower. December marketings at the average of expectations would total 1.662 million head, down 74,000 from a year earlier, but up 187,000 from November.

Marketings and placements are seen down from last year even though December held one more market day this year versus last year.