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BrownfieldAgNews reports:

Slightly more cattle than expected were placed into feedlots during January 2017.

The USDA says placements were up 11% on the year at 1.981 million head, when analysts, on average, were expecting a 10% increase. Those cattle will be headed to slaughter in the coming months, putting more beef into the wholesale and retail supply chains. The USDA's most recent cold storage report showed a record amount of beef in the freezer at the end of January.

By weight, placements of cattle weighing less than 600 pounds were 380,000 head, 600 to 699 placements were 445,000 head, and 700 to 799 pounders were 585,000 head, while 800 to 899 pound placements were 410,000 head, 900 to 999 pound placements were 116,000 head, and placements of cattle weighing more than 1,000 pounds were 45,000 head.

Marketings were 10% above a year ago at 1.751 million head as producers send cattle placed in the second half of last year to slaughter.

The total number of cattle on feed as of February 1st, 2017 was up 1% at 10.782 million head.

The numbers look neutral to bearish for futures prices.

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