The latest report of the U.S. Department of Agriculture about cattle on feed shows marginally higher numbers in feedlots having only little impact on the market.
Feedlots have told the USDA they have 2% more cattle on feed as of December 1 than they did a year ago. This result is in line with forecasts from the trade of a lift of 1.9%, although placements are still at historically low levels.
November placements were at 92% of November 2005, slightly higher than the trade expectation that average placements would be 90.6% of a year ago. However, of concern to the US industry are placements of cattle weighing more than 700 pounds, which are up 4%.
November marketings were up 6%, which was at the top end of the trade's forecast range, but fairly close to the average expectation of up 4.6%. Strong marketings suggest feedlots are keeping stocks current in response to high feeding costs.