Cattle on Feed Shows Marketings Still Slow
Last week’s Cattle on Feed report was kind of a disappointment for a market that was hoping for some positive fundamental news to turn around what has been a really challenging market. There was at least one real surprise in the report and it was the bad kind of surprise: placements in December were down less than one percent from a year ago—considerably higher than expected. Compounding the negative tone of the report, marketings were less aggressive than the pre-report estimates had hoped—up 1.1 percent compared to the prior year.
Marketings appear to have remained more sluggish than would be desired given the available front-end supplies of fed cattle. Figure 1 shows monthly marketings as a percent of the estimated inventory of cattle with more than 120 days on feed.
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