US: Cattle On Feed

February 19, 2021 02:00 CST

Cattle on Feed Estimates
As OfAverageLowHighLast Year
On FeedFeb100.9%100.0%101.1%102.2%
Recent History
On FeedPlacementsMarketingsOn Feed
MonthMillion Head% YoYMillion Head% YoYMillion Head% YoY90+ Days

The USDA pegged Feb-21 cattle on feed supply at 101.5% of last year. Placements during Jan-21 came in at 103.2% of last year and Marketings were 94.4% of last year.

The Cattle on Feed Report was bearish. Placements for the month of January came in +3.2% from a year ago versus an average trade expectation calling for -0.2%. The placements number was also well-above the upper end of the range as well (+1.3% to -4.4%). Marketings in January were close to expectations, declining 5.6% versus an average estimate of calling for a 5.3% decline. This put the February 1 on-feed supply at the bearish end of expectations, +1.5% from last year versus an average estimate calling for +0.9% and a high-end estimate of +1.1%. The extremely high placements number is especially bearish for the deferred contracts, but with the strong premium the nearby futures have to the cash market and the tenuous technical setup, we could see active selling across the board.

This file contains the monthly total number of cattle and calves on feed, placements, marketings, and other disappearances; by class and feedlot capacity for selected states; number of feedlots and fed cattle marketings by size groups for selected states. Data is organized by state and by U.S.

This report offers a timely update on the current makeup of the beef cattle herd. It is probably the most-watched of the USDA reports for the cattle markets and can be a market-moving event if it contains a surprise. The marketings number provides an indicator of recent demand and has the ability to affect the price of nearby futures contracts. The placements number offers insight on the future supply of market ready cattle and has a tendency to affect the deferred contracts. Cattle are placed on feed for anywhere from 90 to 180 days, so a large placements number in June would project large market-ready supply in the fall. Both the placements and the marketings numbers inform the on feed number, which is a measure of current supply. The report offers state-by-state breakdowns as well by various weight groupings, providing an opportunity for further, in-depth analysis. Cattle on Feed reports are usually released on Friday afternoons after the cattle futures market closes, and the results will be reflected on the opening the following Monday morning.