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For the most part, the report can be viewed as in line with expectations for on feed and marketings numbers.

Placements higher in COF report, supplies still tight

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  – Friday’s Cattle on Feed report came out exactly as analysts predicted with total on-feed numbers and marketings being at 100% and placements coming in sharply lower than a year ago.

According to DTN Livestock Analyst ShayLe Stewart, “Analysts’ estimates ranged anywhere from 81.6% of a year ago to 94% at the higher end — with an average estimate of 87.3%,” Stewart said. “Friday’s data came in higher than that average at 93% compared to a year ago — or 1.79 million head. Everyone knew that January’s placement data was going to be lighter than a year ago given how brutal the snowstorms were in January. But I, for one, believed that the placement data would have been lower than just 7%.

“Snowstorms don’t just affect feedlots for the duration of the snow, but rather for weeks on end as pen conditions take time to improve. And feedlot managers aren’t likely to procure outside feeders when their pens are in utter disarray. There’s a chance that the market could react negatively to Friday’s data given that placements came in higher than what analysts predicted. Time will tell, but the fundamental outlook of the market remains strong regardless of how the report is viewed.”

Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.8 million head on February 1, 2024. The inventory was slightly above February 1, 2023.

Placements in feedlots during January totaled 1.79 million head, 7 percent below 2023. Net placements were 1.71 million head. Marketings of fed cattle during January totaled 1.84 million head, slightly below 2023. Other disappearance totaled 81,000 head during January, 29 percent above 2023.

For the most part, the report can be viewed as in line with expectations for on feed and marketings numbers. The placements number were higher than what many traders had expected but overall supplies do remain tight.

View the full report here: https://downloads.usda.library.cornell.edu/usda-esmis/files/m326m174z/fn108k364/7d27bf40m/cofd0224.pdf

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