August cattle placements top pre-pandemic levels

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August cattle placements top pre-pandemic levels

The USDA says 2.104 million cattle were placed into feedlots during August, up 2% on the year and towards the high end of pre-report estimates. That’s also above the pre-pandemic August 2019 placement total and will boost the available number of market ready cattle late this year into early next year.

Most of the placements weighted between 700 and 900 pounds, but also with a significant number of cattle weighing less than 600 to as much as 699 pounds. By weight, placements of cattle weighing less than 600 pounds were 405,000 head, 600 to 699 pound placements were 310,000 head, and 700 to 799 pound placements were 480,000 head, while 800 to 899 pound placements were 534,000 head, 900 to 999 pound placements were 275,000 head, and placements of cattle weighing 1,000 pounds and heavier were 100,000 head.

The total number of cattle on feed on September 1st was 11.234 million head, 1% below last year, and the second highest September 1st inventory on record.

August marketings were down slightly on the year at 1.885 million head.

Overall, the numbers look bearish, but the trade’s response to the report will be guided by how the placements total is interpreted and how well domestic and demand holds up this fall and winter with that increase in ready numbers.

Comparisons for Brownfield states:

Iowa: Total: 590,000 head, down 3% from September 1st, 2020; Placements: 78,000 head, up 4% from August 2020; Marketings: 86,000 head, 4% higher than August 2020

Kansas: Total: 2.47 million head, unchanged from September 1st, 2020; Placements: 530,000 head, down 2% from August 2020; Marketings: 460,000 head, 2% lower than August 2020

Minnesota: Total: 90,000 head, down 18% from September 1st, 2020; Placements: 14,000 head, up 17% from August 2020; Marketings: 18,000 head, 14% lower than August 2020

Nebraska: Total: 2.28 million head, unchanged from September 1st, 2020; Placements: 560,000 head, up 11% from August 2020; Marketings: 470,000 head, 8% higher than August 2020

South Dakota: Total: 200,000 head, up 5% from September 1st, 2020; Placements: 44,000 head, down 6% from August 2020; Marketings: 37,000 head, 9% higher than August 2020

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