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Cattle placements 4% below last year

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Placements of cattle into U.S. feedlots have declined for a second consecutive month.

The USDA says 1.704 million head of cattle entered feedlots in December 2023, down 4% from December 2022, implying tighter market ready supplies later this year. Most of those placements were cattle weighing less than 800 pounds.

Marketings during December fell 1% to 1.253 million head, while the total number of U.S. cattle on feed on January 1st was up 2% at 11.93 million head.

Cattle placements 4% below last year