Cattle in Nebraska feedlot DarcyMaulsby/iStock/Thinkstock.

August feedlot placements bearish

Continued strong marketings this year offsetting increased placements.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its latest “Cattle on Feed” report on Sept. 22. The report showed that total cattle and calves on feed for feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 head or more totaled 10.5 million head on Sept. 1, a 3.6% increase from the same time last year. Analysts had expected a 2.7% year-over-year increase.


Placements in feedlots during August came in at 1.93 million head, 3% above 2016. The average pre-report estimate was for a decline of 2.7%.

Oklahoma State University Extension livestock marketing specialist Derrell Peel said the larger-than-expected placements could provoke a bearish market response. However, he said the continued strong pace of marketings may be overlooked.

Net placements were 1.88 million head. During August, placements of cattle and calves totaled 360,000 head for those weighing less than 600 lb., 285,000 head for those weighing 600-699 lb., 418,000 head for those weighing 700-799 lb., 485,000 head for those weighing 800-899 lb., 270,000 head for those weighing 900-999 lb. and 110,000 head for those weighing 1,000 lb. or more.

Marketings of fed cattle during August totaled 1.98 million head, 6% above the 2016 level and near pre-report estimates.

For the first eight months of the year, Peel said total placements were up 1.16 million head, an 8.4% year-over-year increase. However, he pointed out that total marketings were up 847,000 head, 6.1% more than last year, which has largely offset the increased placements. As a result, the Sept. 1 on-feed inventory was up a modest 369,000 head year over year, he added.

Other disappearance totaled 49,000 head during August, a 20% increase from 2016.

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