USDA: cattle placements up 1% during December

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USDA: cattle placements up 1% during December

The USDA says producers placed 1.842 million cattle into feedlots during December 2020.

That is up 1% from December 2019 and the second highest placement total for any December since the series of reports started in 1996, with most of those cattle light and medium weights, which will be marketed in late spring and early summer. By weight, placements of cattle weighing less than 600 pounds wee 460,000 head, 600 to 699 pound placements were 435,000 head, and placements of cattle weighing 700 to 799 pounds were 425,000 head, while 800 to 899 pound placements were 317,000 head, 900 to 999 pound placements were 110,000 head, and placements of cattle weighing more than 1,000 pounds were 95,000 head.

Analysts had a wide range of estimates for placements heading into the report, but the average guess was for a slight decline, so this looks bearish for futures prices and long-term cash prospects.

Marketings during December were 1.853 million head, also up 1% on the year and also the second highest for the month in about 25 years.

The total number of cattle on feed in the U.S. at the start of 2021 was 12.036 million head, a slight year to year increase.

The USDA’s semi-annual cattle inventory numbers are out Friday, January 29th.

Comparisons for Brownfield states:

Iowa: On feed: 610,000 head, down 9% from January 2020; Placements: 93,000 head, up 29% from December 2019; Marketings: 91,000 head, up 1% from December 2019

Minnesota: On feed: 115,000 head, down 15% from January 2020; Placements: 9,000 head, down 10% from December 2019; Marketings: 18,000 head, up 29% from December 2019

Nebraska: On feed: 2.55 million head, up 4% from January 2020; Placements: 480,000 head, up 3% from December 2019; Marketings: 450,000 head, down 4% from December 2019

South Dakota: On feed: 245,000 head, unchanged from January 2020; Placements: 40,000 head, unchanged from December 2019; Marketings: 43,000 head, unchanged from December 2019

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