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BRIAN HOOPS

By Staff | Feb 25, 2011

Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.6 million head on Feb. 1. The inventory was 6 percent above Feb. 1, 2010.

Placements in feedlots during January totaled 1.90 million, 4 percent above 2010. Net placements were 1.84 million head. During January, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 465,000, 600-699 pounds were 475,000, 700-799 pounds were 547,000, and 800 pounds and greater were 410,000.

Fed cattle marketing during January totaled 1.78 million, slightly above 2010.

Other disappearance totaled 56,000 during January, 20 percent below 2010. This is the lowest other disappearance for the month of January since the series began in 1996.

2010 size group estimates

Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head represented 82.1 percent of all cattle and calves on feed in the United States on Jan. 1, up from 80.5 on Jan. 1, 2010.

Fed cattle marketing for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head during 2010 represented 84.6 percent of all cattle marketed from feedlots in the United States, down from 84.7 percent during 2009.

All cattle and calves in the United States and Canada combined totaled 105 million head on Jan. 1, down 2 percent from the 106.8 million on Jan. 1, 2010. All cows and heifers that have calved, at 45.3 million head, were down 1 percent from a year ago.

All cattle and calves in the United States as of Jan. 1, 2011, totaled 92.6 million head, 1 percent below the 93.9 million on Jan. 1, 2010. All cows and heifers that have calved, at 40 million head, were down 1 percent from a year ago.

All cattle and calves in Canada as of Jan. 1, totaled 12.5 million head, down 3 percent from the 12.9 million on Jan. 1, 2010. All cows and heifers that have calved, at 5.26 million, were down 2 percent from a year ago.

Corn analysis

Corn closed the week $.03 1/4 higher. Last week, private exporters reported sales of 301,000 metric tons of corn to Mexico, 120,000 MT sold to Egypt and 101,600 mts sold to Japan. The weekly export sales report showed net sales of 1.03 million metric tons were down 7 percent from the previous week, but up 15 percent from the prior four-week average.

This year’s net export profile is now at 1.236 billion bushels versus the USDA forecast of 1.950 bb.

Strategy and outlook: Only limited selling is expected from now until more is known about the 2011 growing season of both old and new crop inventories. Producers and are now sold/hedged on 80 percent of the 2010 crop and re-owned 35 percent of sales/hedges with at-the-money May call options after rolling up March $5.20 calls.

Producers should have 30 percent of new crop production sold. Make another old and new crop 10 percent sale at $7.59.

Soybeans analysis

Soybeans closed the week $.40 lower from last week. For the second consecutive week, private exporters did not report any private sales. In fact, two previous sales totaling 230,000 MT of soybeans to China and to an unknown destination were canceled. The NOPA January soybean crush was reported at 144.6 million bushels, marginally above market expectations of 144.2 mb and down slightly from December crush of 145.5 mb, but 11 percent below year-ago crush of 162.4 mb. January crush was the 2nd lowest of the last six years. Marketing year-to-date NOPA soybean crush of 716 mb is down 4.5 percent from last year.

The weekly export sales report showed net sales of 514,500 MT were up noticeably from the previous week, but down 20 percent from the prior four-week average.

Strategy and outlook: Only limited U.S. selling is expected from now until more is known about the 2011 growing season of both old and new crop inventories. South American producers will become active hedgers if forecasts turn wetter.

Brian Hoops is president and senior market analyst of Midwest Market Solutions Inc. Midwest Market Solutions is a full-service commodity brokerage and marketing advisory service, clearing through R.J. O’Brien.

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