The U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest “Cattle on Feed” report was bearish, as numbers in the report came in higher than expected for total inventory and specifically placements.
The inventory for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 head or more totaled 11.3 million head on Aug. 1, 2020, a 2% increase from August 2019 and 1% higher than analysts had anticipated. This was also the highest Aug. 1 inventory since the series began in 1996, USDA noted.
Placements in feedlots during July were the biggest surprise in the report, coming in at 1.89 million head, 11% above 2019. While analysts had expected placements to rise, they expected only a 6% increase.
Net placements were 1.84 million head. During July, placements were 420,000 head for cattle and calves weighing less than 600 lb., 315,000 head for 600-699 lb., 435,000 head for 700-799 lb., 458,000 head for 800-899 lb., 195,000 head for 900-999 lb. and 70,000 head for 1,000 lb. and greater.
Marketings of fed cattle during July totaled 1.99 million head, 1% below 2019 and in line with pre-report estimates.