February cattle placements up 9%

February cattle placements up 9%

The USDA says cattle placed in feedlots during February 2022 was 9% above 2021 at 1.85 million head.  That’s at the top end of the pre-report range.  Nearly 65% of the cattle placed weighed less than 800 pounds, which could imply ranchers are expecting lower feed costs in the coming months, giving them more time to feed out before heading to market this summer.

February marketings were 5% above 2021 at 1.83 million head. 

As of March 1st there were 12.2 million head on feed, up 1% on the year, and the highest inventory for March 1 since the series began in 1996. 

The numbers were close to pre-report expectations and mostly look neutral for cash prices in the short-term, however the placements numbers will likely weigh on deferred futures contracts. 


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