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‘Cattle on Feed’ report as expected

DarcyMaulsby/iStock/Thinkstock Cattle in feedlot
Numbers show feedlot inventories large to start the new year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest “Cattle on Feed” report, which was released Jan. 24, was in line with pre-report estimates.

Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in feedlots with capacity of 1,000 head or more totaled 12.0 million head on Jan. 1, 2020, a 2% increase from the same period last year. Analysts also had expected a 2% increase. The inventory included 7.37 million steers and steer calves, up 1% from the previous year. USDA said this group accounted for 62% of the total inventory. Heifers and heifer calves accounted for 4.59 million head, up 4% from 2019.

Placements in feedlots during December totaled 1.83 million head, 3% above 2019 and what the trade expected. Net placements were 1.76 million head. During December, placements of cattle and calves were 465,000 head for those weighing less than 600 lb., 455,000 head for those weighing 600-699 lb., 413,000 head for those weighing 700-799 lb., 295,000 head for those weighing 800-899 lb., 95,000 head for those weighing 900-999 lb. and 105,000 head for those weighing 1,000 lb. and greater.

Marketings of fed cattle during December totaled 1.83 million head, 5% above 2018 and as expected by the trade.

Other disappearance totaled 67,000 head during December, 11% below 2018.

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