Market News & Headlines >> February Cattle-on-Feed Report Neutral

Friday’s USDA Cattle-on-Feed report confirmed trade expectations, pegging January placements of cattle on feed below a year earlier and showing an increase in January marketing. 

The February report, which was delayed by the partial government shutdown earlier this year, was largely neutral for the futures market, pegging the Feb. 1 U.S. feedlot inventory closely in line with expectations. 

USDA estimated the Feb. 1 U.S. feedlot inventory at 100.4% of a year earlier compared with trade estimates that averaged 100.2% in a range from 99.1%-100.6%, according to a Reuters News Service survey of 10 analysts. In actual numbers, the Feb. 1 feedlot inventory totaled 11.678 million head, up 48,000 from a year earlier, but down 12,000 from a month earlier. 

January feedlot marketings were pegged by USDA at 94.7% of a year earlier, toward the high end of trade estimates that averaged 93.5% of a year earlier in a range from 87.0%-95.9%, but monthly feedlot marketings at 102.8% of a year earlier were also toward the high end of expectations that averaged 102.4% in a range from 101.5%-103.0%. 

In actual numbers, January feedlot placements totaled 1.959 million head, down 109,000 from a year earlier and were the smallest in 3 years. January feedlot marketings totaled 1.910 million head, 52,000 above a year earlier and were the largest in 16 years.