Cattle on Feed Report: Fully Neutral

Posted on Fri, 12/18/2020 - 14:54

USDA’s Cattle on Feed Report was about as close to the average pre-report estimates as you can get. The Dec. 1 inventory for big feedlots (1,000-plus head) at 12.036 million head was virtually in line with year-ago and traders’ expectations. Cattle placements dropped 8.9% from year-ago levels during November, which was just 0.3 points below the average trade estimate. Marketings slipped 1.7%, which was just 0.1 points less than anticipated.

Cattle on Feed Report


(% of year-ago)

Avg. Trade Estimate

(% of year-ago)

On Feed on Dec. 1



Placements in November



Marketings in November



­Every category of placements was down from year-ago except for 9-weights, which were unchanged, but only made up 6.8% of the total number of calves placed into feedlots in November. Placements were down 16.1% for lightweights (under 600 lbs.), down 8.0% for 6-weights, down 5.4% for 7-weights, down 1.3% for 8-weights and down 18.2% from year-ago levels for heavyweights (1,000-plus lbs.). Colorado (down 20,000 head), Nebraska (down 60,000 head) and Texas (down 60,000 head) accounted for 80% of the total drop in placements last month. Kansas placements were unchanged from year-ago levels in November.

Because the numbers were so close to pre-report expectations, there will be no market reaction. Traders will watch to see if the boxed beef and cash cattle markets can confirm short-term lows.