Cattle on Feed Report: Dec. 1 feedlot inventory down slightly from last year

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Cattle on Feed Report: Mostly neutral... USDA estimates there were 11.985 million head of cattle in large feedlots (1,000-plus head) as of Dec. 1, down 51,000 head (0.4%) from both year-ago and the average pre-report estimate. Placements in November rose slightly more than anticipated at 3.6% above year-ago, while marketings were also stronger than anticipated, up 5.4%.


Cattle on Feed Report

(% of year-ago)

Avg. Trade Estimate

(% of year-ago)

On Feed Dec. 1



Placements in Nov.



Marketings in Nov.




Not surprisingly, the increase in placements was driven by the lighter weight categories. Placements rose 8.6% for lightweights (under 600 lbs.), 5.4% for 6-weights and 1.3% for 7-weights. Placements of 8-weights dropped 2.3%, while they were unchanged for 9-weights and heavyweights (1,000-plus lbs.).

While the Dec. 1 inventory was slightly lighter than anticipated, it wasn’t enough to spark much price reaction, especially with placements coming in bigger than anticipated. If anything, traders may bull spread the market initially on the report data, though focus should rather quickly turn to cash cattle expectations for next week and into early January.


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