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Cattle on Feed Report     02/19  14:05

Feb. 1 Cattle on Feed Up 1%

By DTN Staff

                      USDA Actual   Average Estimate       Range
On Feed Feb. 1            101%          101.0%      100.0-101.1%
Placed in Jan.            103%          100.1%       95.6-101.3%
Marketed in Jan.           94%           94.5%        94.3-96.1%

OMAHA (DTN) -- Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter 
market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 
or more head totaled 12.1 million head on Feb. 1, 2021. The 
inventory was 1% above Feb. 1, 2020. This is the second-highest 
Feb. 1 inventory since the series began in 1996, USDA NASS 
reported on Friday.

Placements in feedlots during January totaled 2.02 million head, 
3% above 2020. Net placements were 1.96 million head. During 
January, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 
pounds were 410,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 440,000 head, 700-
799 pounds were 575,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 417,000 head, 
900-999 pounds were 105,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater 
were 70,000 head.

Marketings of fed cattle during January totaled 1.82 million 
head, 6% below 2020.

Other disappearance totaled 56,000 head during January, 4% above 


"Analysts pegged USDA's Feb. 1 Cattle on Feed report in respect 
to the total number of cattle on feed and the number of fed 
cattle marketed, but placements were greater than anticipated," 
said DTN Livestock Analyst ShayLe Stewart. 

"Seeing a 3% spike in placement numbers from a year ago is 
surprising, as feed prices are considerably higher than years 
past. But it's also equally as important to note that, in 
January of 2021, feeder cattle prices were the weakest they'd 
been since July 2020, which gave feedlots an opportunity to buy 
low and lent hopes of selling high. And 2021 is expected to 
yield higher fed cattle prices in the second quarter and beyond. 

"Feedlots were most interested in placing cattle that weighed 
700 to 799 pounds. In January of 2020, there were 535,000 head 
of 700- to 799-pound cattle placed, while in January of 2021, 
there were 575,000 head of cattle weighing between 700 and 799 
pounds placed, equating to an additional 40,000 head year over 

"Seeing fewer cattle marketed in January 2021 doesn't come as a 
surprise, as fed cattle prices were considerably lower than in 
years past, and there were two fewer days in January of 2021, 
which greatly affects marketing totals.
"Looking ahead, March's Cattle on Feed report could show weaker 
placements and lighter marketings, as heavy accumulations of 
snow and blizzard conditions affected the ability to move and 
transport cattle as efficiently as many had hoped. 

"Friday's Cattle on Feed report did share greater-than-expected 
placements, but this week's report shouldn't gravely affect the 


DTN subscribers can view the full Cattle on Feed reports in the 
Livestock Archives folder under the Markets menu. The report is 
also available at https://www.nass.usda.gov/.

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