Market News & Headlines >> Feedlot Inventory Up More Than 8%

Friday afternoon’s monthly USDA Cattle-on-Feed report looked be slightly negative for cattle prices, showing the Jan. 1 feedlot inventory at the high end of expectations, but the USDA data had little impact on cattle futures following strongly higher Plains cash trade late on Friday. 

USDA pegged the supply of cattle on feed as of Jan. 1 at 108.1% of a year earlier, matching the high end of the range of trade estimates, according to a Reuters Survey of 11 analysts. In actual numbers, the Jan. 1 feedlot inventory was 11.516 million head, 864,000 head above a year earlier and was the largest in six years. 

December feedlot placements were reported by USDA at 100.8% of a year earlier versus trade estimates averaging 96.9% in a range from 93.3%-100.3%. Actual placements were 1.799 mil. head, 14,000 above a year earlier. It was the tenth consecutive month that placements exceeded a year earlier, but net feedlot placements for December were actually 5,000 below a year earlier, though as other disappearance rose to 74,000 head from 55,000 a year earlier. 

USDA put December feedlot marketings at 98.6% of a year earlier compared with trade estimates that averaged 98.8% in a range from 97.9%-100.3%. Actual marketings of 1.752 million head were 25,000 below a year earlier. It was the first time in 17 months that marketings were not up over a year earlier.