The most recent data from USDA show an increase in feeder cattle placements and overall higher feedlot inventories. Coming in almost four percent higher than previous analysts’ expectations, the data is likely bearish for cattle prices in the short term, but given the volatility in both placements and market prices over the last few months, the bearish influence isn’t expected to last long, especially given placements remain just over four percent lower than the previous average for the calendar year. The data isn’t indicative of a larger herd, but more a reflection of lower placements earlier in the year. Look for continued fluctuations in the market based on variables like feedlot placements into early 2021, according to Oklahoma State University Extension livestock economist and marketing specialist Derrell Peel. Read more of the new analysis.