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Cattle on Feed Report Preview    10/21  11:30

Market Volatility Following Sept. 1 Cattle on Feed Report Raises 
Anticipation for Oct. 1 Numbers 

By Rick Kment
DTN Contributing Analyst

                      USDA Actual   Average Estimate       Range
On Feed Oct. 1                          99.3%         98.9-99.9%
Placed in September                    101.4%        98.8-103.3%
Marketed in September                   97.2%         97.0-98.9%

OMAHA (DTN) -- The release of Friday's Oct. 1 USDA Cattle on 
Feed report will be closely watched again. The market volatility 
that followed the September report is adding even more fuel to 
the fire and heightenin anticipation for the upcoming numbers.
Analyst expectations for total cattle on feed on Oct. 1 is 99.3% 
of a year ago. This would account for a total on-feed number 
(feedyards of 1,000 head or greater) of 11.63 million head. 
Although this estimate would be slightly below pandemic-year 
levels, it would still be the second-highest October on-feed 
number since the data set was established, outpaced only by 
2020. Traditionally, cattle on feed numbers peak in the December 
report, adding concern that further increases will be seen in 
the future. 

Cattle placements are projected at 101.4% of year-ago levels, 
which would not be out of line with seasonal trends, but this 
too could spark additional market shifts if actual placement 
levels are significantly different than expectations. 

Marketing levels of cattle during September are expected at 
97.2% of year-ago levels. Marketings will likely take a back 
seat to placements and on-feed numbers following the report but 
should not be totally overlooked, as this will help indicate the 
overall ability to move cattle through the system heading into 
the fourth quarter of 2021. 

Any significant deviations from pre-report estimates, especially 
in on-feed or placement categories, are likely to spark moderate 
trade shifts early next week. Current estimates have already 
been partially accounted for in cattle futures prices through 
the week.

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