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Market Reports

Read new forecasts and indicators involving beef cattle and feed markets. Find out what factors are affecting prices.

LATEST

USDA-AMS estimates U.S. beef production for the year to date to be down 1 percent year over year. Total cattle slaughter is up 0.7 percent so far this year over last year.

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The March Cattle on Feed report brings the feedlot data up to date and back on schedule following the federal government shutdown. February feedlot placements were 102.2 percent of last year.

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Normally, the cattle and beef production discussion in the February report would reflect cattle inventory data from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Cattle report in this month’s report. However, due to the government shutdown, the Cattle report was not to be released until Feb. 28.

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The Jan. 1, 2019, inventory of all cattle and calves in the U.S. grew to 94.76 million, head, up 0.5 percent from one year ago. This puts the number of cattle in the country just slightly higher than 2009 levels after dropping to a low of 88.53 million head in 2014, with an increase of 6.23 million head in the last five years.

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The USDA continues to catch up on reports stalled by the shutdown and, as part of catching up, released the January Cattle on Feed report on Friday, Feb. 22. The report has lost a little bit of its normal timeliness, but still contains a few interesting nuggets.

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The latest USDA Cattle on Feed report issued on Feb. 22 was delayed a month because of the federal government shutdown. The report showed December placements at 98 percent of one year earlier and marketings at 99 percent of last year, leading to a Jan. 1 on-feed total of 11.69 million head, 101.8 percent of the prior year.

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