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Cattle on Feed Report     01/24  14:05

Jan. 1 Cattle on Feed Up 2% 


By DTN Staff

                      USDA Actual   Average Estimate       Range
On Feed Jan. 1             102%          102.2%     101.6-102.5%
Placed in December         103%          103.2%     100.5-105.3%
Marketed in December       105%          105.2%     103.9-105.8%

OMAHA (DTN) -- Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter 
market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 
or more head totaled 12.0 million head on Jan. 1, 2020. The 
inventory was 2% above Jan. 1, 2019, USDA NASS reported on 
Friday.
 
The inventory included 7.37 million steers and steer calves, up 
1% from the previous year. This group accounted for 62% of the 
total inventory. Heifers and heifer calves accounted for 4.59 
million head, up 4% from 2019.

Placements in feedlots during December totaled 1.83 million 
head, 3% above 2019. Net placements were 1.76 million head. 
During December, placements of cattle and calves weighing less 
than 600 pounds were 465,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 455,000 
head, 700-799 pounds were 413,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 
295,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 95,000 head, and 1,000 pounds 
and greater were 105,000 head.

Marketings of fed cattle during December totaled 1.83 million 
head, 5% above 2018.
Other disappearance totaled 67,000 head during December, 11% 
below 2018.

DTN ANALYSIS

"Last week taught us all a valuable lesson surrounding the 
signing of the phase-one trade agreement, and that is the market 
tends to get ahead of itself, which causes problems later down 
the road," said DTN Livestock Analyst ShayLe Stewart. 
"Currently, there are enough bears in the marketplace to 
outweigh bulls by a landslide, and to some degree, that's fair. 

"Placements have been higher on the last four COF reports, which 
becomes alarming as we look to marketing those feeders later 
down the road. And the cash cattle market hasn't been over 
performing the last two weeks. But it would be both negligent 
and unjust to overlook both the domestic and international 
demand for beef right now and see the driving demand that's 
pushing packers to keep the slaughter pace running at an 
exuberant level.
 
"Friday's COF report may have a bearish connotation to next 
week's early trade, and there's no doubt that the key factors to 
be watching this upcoming spring will be: 1) how feeders are 
managing their readily available fat cattle supplies; 2) the 
slaughter pace; 3) and the number of cull bulls and cows that 
are being bought by packers," Stewart said. "The number of cull 
bulls and cows that are being bought to process will affect how 
aggressively packers seek out cash cattle and, ultimately, 
feeders' ability to market their fat cattle."


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