Cattle on Feed Report Came in About as Expected

Posted on Fri, 03/19/2021 - 15:10

USDA reports there were 12.0 million head of cattle on feed as of March 1, which was just 24,000 head higher than Reuters’ pre-report survey work signaled and up 1.6% from year-ago. Placement came in just 0.5 percentage points higher than expected at 98.1% of year-ago, while marketings at 97.6% of year ago fell just 0.5 points short of expectations. The range of trade guesses on both marketings and placements was wise, signaling a fair amount of uncertainty.

 

USDA

(% of year-ago)

Avg. Trade Estimate

(% of year-ago)

On Feed on March 1

101.6

101.4

Placements in February

98.1

97.6

Marketings in February

97.6

98.1

 

February cattle placements were lighter than year-ago for most weight categories. Exceptions included 7-weights that were steady with year-ago and 9-weights, which edged 4.2% higher. Lightweight placements were down 1.5% from year-ago, while 6-weights dropped 7.8%, 8-weights edged 0.5% lower, and heavyweights fell 8.3%.

The report should have limited impact on price action next week. The focus will be on cash bids and wholesale beef trade.