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USDA: cattle on feed placements drop 9%

The USDA’s latest Cattle on Feed report shows a slowdown in placements.

The total number of placements on feed during August was down 9% on the year at 1.884 million head, at the low end of expectations, with better than a year ago conditions in many pastures and some producers reluctant to put cattle into feedlots because of recent losses in the cash market. Most of those placements were cattle weighing less than 900 pounds, which will be marketed late this year into early next spring. By weight, placements of cattle weighing less than 600 pounds were 385,000 head, 600 to 699 pound placements were 300,000 head, and the 700 to 799 pound category represented 424,000 head, while 800 to 899 pound placements were 440,000 head, placements of cattle weighing 900 to 999 pounds were 230,000 head, and 1,000 pound and heavier placements were 105,000 head.

Marketings during August were 2% below the year before at 1.953 million head and the total number of cattle on feed on September 1st was 1% lower at 10.982 million head. Other disappearances were up 11% on the year at 61,000 head.

With placements towards the low end of estimates, the report looks neutral to slightly bullish for cash and futures trade.

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