Meat & Livestock News

USDA’s Latest Cattle on Feed Report Aligns with Market Expectations

The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has published its monthly Cattle on Feed report, revealing figures largely anticipated by industry analysts. According to the Daily Livestock Report‘s analysis, the placement activity stood at 95.5% of the previous year’s level, marginally below the average pre-report estimate of 95.8% for 2022.

The report detailed variations across different weight categories. Notably, there was a decline in most categories, except for the 900–999-pound feeders, which saw an increase of 5,000 head. The collective decrease for those under 700 pounds was 25,000 head. The most pronounced drop was in the 700–799-pound range, decreasing by 35,000 head, followed by the 800–899-pound category, which saw a reduction of 20,000 head.

In terms of marketing, there was a decrease overall. However, with one less slaughter day compared to the previous year, the daily marketing pace increased to 86,000 head per day, up from 2022’s figure of 83,000 head per day. Total marketings for the period were 99.1% of the previous year, amounting to 1.73 million head.

As of January 1st, the total number of cattle on feed was 11.930 million head, a 2.1% increase from December 2022. This figure is above the previous year’s level, with significant increases noted in two categories: a 12% rise for cattle on feed for over 120 days and a 9.5% increase for those over 90 days.

The report also shed light on the lower demand for 700–800-pound animals, which could be contributing to the lower prices in this category. This contrasts with the price trend for 500–600-pound steers, which experienced an upward movement in December.