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USDA Cattle on Feed Report/Cattle Inventory 07/23 14:15

U.S. Cattle on Feed Down 1%; Cattle Inventory Down 2%

Editor's Note: This report originally published at 14:10 p.m. 
CDT; it was last updated at 14:40 p.m. CDT.

By ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst
                      USDA Actual   Average Estimate       Range
On Feed July 1          99.0%            98.8%       98.2-99.7%
Placed in June          93.0%            94.1%        90.4-96.0%
Marketed in June        103.%           102.3%      99.6-103.4%
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 11.3 million head on July 1, 2021. The 
inventory was 1% below July 1, 2020.
The inventory included 6.98 million steers and steer calves, 
down 1% from the previous year. This group accounted for 62% of 
the total inventory. Heifers and heifer calves accounted for 
4.32 million head, down 2% from 2020.
Placements in feedlots during June totaled 1.67 million head, 7% 
below 2020. Net placements were 1.61 million head. During June, 
placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds 
were 345,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 260,000 head, 700-799 
pounds were 375,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 405,000 head, 900-
999 pounds were 195,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 
90,000 head.
Marketings of fed cattle during June totaled 2.02 million head, 
3% above 2020.
Other disappearance totaled 57,000 head during June, 8% below 
2020.
CATTLE ON FEED ANALYSIS
The July 2021 COF report came in mostly as analysts projected, 
but there are some underlying discoveries that need highlighted. 
First, it's quite impressive to note that marketings in June 
totaled 2,022,000 head. That's the largest placements have been 
in June since 2011, when marketings totaled 2,102,000 head. Even 
though the current live cattle market hasn't been favorable to 
feedlots in 2021 as prices cannot seem to surpass $125, if 
feedlots can regain market leverage there will be higher 
earnings to be made with demand as robust as it's been. The 
market's biggest limiting factor is packers buying cattle with 
time, week in and week out, so the current cash cattle market 
stands no chance of demanding higher prices as packers never 
have to commit to buying more than 50,000 to 75,000 head per 
week in the cash market. 
Secondly, with severe drought conditions plaguing cattlemen in 
the West, placements have been a wild card for the market. More 
and more cows have been going to town as producers simply don't 
have the feed to carry them into fall. With these pairs coming 
to town and most being split and sold individually, the market 
has been curious as to where these calves are going. Friday's 
report didn't show a large increase in lightweight placements, 
and in all actuality the only divisions of placements where 
there was an increase year-over-year was of those weighing 700 
to 799 pounds and those weighing 1,000 pounds or more. 

July 2021 COF REPORT






2021/2019 Change
2021

On Feed
0.98
11,290,000

Placed
0.95
1,670,000

Marketed
1.04
2,022,000





July 3 YR AVG ('19,'18,'17)
2021
% Change
On Feed
11,200,000
11,290,000
1.01
Placed
1,773,333
1,670,000
0.94
Marketed 
1,983,333
2,022,000
1.02




July 5 YR AVG ('19,'18,'17,'16,'15)
2021
% Change
On Feed
10,840,000
11,290,000
1.04
Placed
1,666,000
1,670,000
1.00
Marketed 
1,922,000
2,022,000
1.05

USDA CATTLE INVENTORY ANALYSIS
Friday's report from USDA showed cattle inventory totaled 100.9 
million head on July 1, 2021, down 2.0% from last year's report 
of 103.0 million head, but down 1.3% from USDA's new revised 
inventory of 102.2 million head for 2020. Total inventory was 
less than the 0.5% reduction expected by many. Beef cows on July 
1, 2021, totaled 31.4 million head, down 2% from USDA's total of 
32.05 million head for 2020 and also less than expected. 
The national calf crop on July 1 totaled 35.1 million head, down 
2% from last year's reported total of 35.8 million head, but 
only down 0.1% from USDA's revised total of 35.135 million head 
for 2020.
USDA cattle inventory reports have long-term implications and 
don't typically have much immediate price impact. However, 
Friday's cattle and calf inventories, compared to last year's 
reported totals, were less than expected and should have modest 
bullish influence on cattle prices, especially in the more 
distant futures months.


ShayLe Stewart can be reached at shayle.stewart@dtn.com


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