USDA Dec. 1 Cattle on Feed Report

Dec. 1 Cattle on Feed Down Slightly

Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 12.0 million head on Dec. 1, 2021, according to USDA NASS. (DTN ProphetX chart)

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 12.0 million head on Dec. 1, 2021. The inventory was slightly below Dec. 1, 2020, USDA NASS reported on Thursday.

Placements in feedlots during November totaled 1.97 million head, 4% above 2020. Net placements were 1.91 million head. During November, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 565,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 485,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 405,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 296,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 130,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 90,000 head.

Marketings of fed cattle during November totaled 1.87 million head, 5% above 2020. Marketings were the highest for November since the series began in 1996. November 2021 included one additional day of slaughter compared to last year.

Other disappearance totaled 61,000 head during November, unchanged from 2020.

DTN ANALYSIS

"While I knew that sale barns had large receipts this past month, I by no means anticipated seeing a 4% increase in year-over-year placements in Thursday's Cattle on Feed report," said DTN Livestock Analyst ShayLe Stewart. "Historically speaking, the market anticipates seeing large placements in May, September and October, but given how limited feed is this year in most of the West and in parts of the Midwest -- higher placements in November make sense. Winter feed has been hard to come by, and significantly affected how cow-calf producers, stockers/backgrounders, and feedlots have all had to manage their cattle. Looking to 2022 and understanding its marketing year, we will need to understand that the influx of feeders now will mean there will be more cattle to market come late spring and early summer of 2022.

"Needing the same amount of attention is Thursday's 5% increase in marketings. The recent cash cattle rally deserves a standing ovation and it's helped feedlots more than most realize. The aggressive marketing of cattle has helped feedlots clean up their showlists and should help in the early months of 2022, as they won't be hard-pressed to get heavy cattle moved.

"All in all, Thursday's Cattle on Feed report comes as a neutral report, as seeing higher placements could be interpreted as bearish for the live cattle market later in 2022. But, thankfully, with the strong marketings that feedlots have championed, the market has found some relief."

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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/….

USDA Actual Average Estimate Range
On Feed Dec. 1 100% 99.8% 98.6-103.1%
Placed in November 104% 103.4% 96.4-106.7%
Marketed in November 105% 104.4% 104.3-105.0%