Analysts expect bigger placements, smaller marketings

Ahead of Friday’s USDA cattle on feed update, analysts, on average, expect a year to year increase in placements against a decrease in marketings.

Via Dow Jones Newswires, placements during December are projected at 104.1% of a year ago due to negative feedlot margins and the poor condition of wheat pastures around the Plains. The range of estimates runs from 96.2% to 108.8%.

Marketings are estimated at 93.2% of a year ago with one fewer workday in December 2012 when compared to December 2011, in addition to a reduced kill schedule on Christmas Eve. Pre-report expectations run from 90.2% to 95.0%.

The total number of cattle on feed in the U.S. as of January 1 is pegged at 95.6% of a year ago with estimates ranging from 94.2% to 96.2%.

The numbers are out Friday, January 25 at 3 PM Eastern/2 PM Central and USDA’s inventory report will be released February 1.

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