Analysts seefewer cattle on feed, bigger placements

Ahead of Friday's USDA cattle on feed update, analysts are expecting a smaller than a year ago on feed total and fewermarketings, but they see an increase for placements in the feedlots.

The average guess for the April 1 on feed total is 95.6% of a year ago, with a fairly tight range of estimates running from 95.0% to 97.5%. Marketings are pegged at 99.2% with an extremely wide range ofexpectations, from 95.6% to 112.3%. Placements are seen at 103.8% of a year because the March 2008 placements were much smaller than expected. The range of estimates for placements runs from 97.0% to 100.4%.

The report is out at 2 PM Central.

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