Market News & Headlines >> Little Reaction to Bearish Cattle Report

Friday afternoon’s USDA monthly Cattle-on-Feed report held bearish news for cattle market as it pegged The Feb. 1 feedlot inventory and January feedlot placements above the trade expectations, while putting January feedlot marketings at the low end of trade expectations. 

However, live cattle futures showed only a muted reaction to the USDA data on Monday after correcting lower late last week. 

USDA pegged the Feb. 1 feedlot inventory at 101.5% of a year earlier, topping trade expectations that averaged 100.8% in a range from 99.6%-101.1% of a year earlier, according to a Reuters News Service survey of 11 livestock analysts.

Meanwhile, USDA pegged January feedlot placements at 103.2% of year earlier compared with expectations for January placements of cattle into feedlots that averaged 99.8% in a range from 95.1%-103.0%. Feedlot marketings were put by USDA at 94.4% of a year earlier compared with pre-report estimates that averaged 95.1% in a range from 94.3%-98.4%. A year-over-year decrease in marketings was anticipated in large part because this January held 2 fewer market days than January 2020. 

The Feb. 1 feedlot inventory totaled 12.106 million head and was the second largest on record behind 2006 in the current USDA data series dating back to 1994.  January feedlot placements of 2.017 million head were 72,000 head above a year earlier and 66,000 head above the average of trade estimates. Placements were the largest for the month in four years. January feedlot marketings of 1.822 million head were 14,000 below the average of trade expectations and 109,000 below a year earlier and were the smallest in four years.