Market News & Headlines >> Feedlot Inventory, Placements Top Expectations

Friday’s monthly USDA Cattle-on-Feed report had a bearish look to it as it pegged August feedlot placements and the Sept. 1 U.S. feedlot inventory toward the high end of pre-report expectations. 

USDA pegged the Sept. 1 feedlot inventory at 105.9% of a year earlier compared with trade estimates that averaged 105.4% of a year earlier in a range from 104.2-106.0%. In actual numbers, the feedlot inventory was 11.125 million head, 621,000 head larger than a year earlier, and as expected, was the largest on record for the date in USDA data going back to 1996. 

August feedlot placements were reported by USDA at 107.4% of a year earlier, topping pre-report estimates of August placements that averaged 104.4% of a year earlier in a range from 101.1-107.0%. Monthly placements totaled 2.070 million head, 144,000 above a year earlier, and were the largest for the month since 2011. 

USDA put August feedlot marketings at 100.2% of a year earlier versus trade estimates that averaged 100.4% in a range from 99.8-104.3%.  August marketings totaled 1.983 million head, 4,000 above a year earlier and were the largest for the month since 2011. 

The increase in August placements was due to larger placements of lighter weight cattle for the third straight month. The number of cattle weighing 600 pounds or less that went on feed during August was 119.4% of a year earlier, while placements of cattle weighing 600-700 pounds were 117.5% of a year earlier.