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Producer Price Indexes

Producer Price Indexes for Slaughter Cattle and for Feeder and Replacement Cattle

With the release of Producer Price Index (PPI) data for October 2021, on November 9, 2021, the PPI introduced data in its commodity classification system for Feeder and replacement cattle. These indexes supplement existing PPI data for Slaughter cattle, which has been published by the PPI since January 1947. Indexes for Slaughter cattle and for Feeder and replacement cattle appear in tables 7 and 9 of the monthly PPI Detailed Report and are available online through the BLS website.

The traditional PPI Slaughter cattle index measures the average change in prices for cattle intended for slaughter immediately or in the very near future. The new PPI for Feeder and replacement cattle measures the average change in prices for cattle that are either intended for slaughter after a period of feeding or that are intended for breeding to produce calves for meat and dairy production.

An index for Feeder and replacement cattle is important because cattle need to reach 1,200 to 1,500 pounds to be considered ready for slaughter, which can take over a year. Ranchers often do not want to feed and care for cattle over this entire period, so feeder cattle (which typically weigh 600 to 800 pounds) are usually sold to feedlots, which raise the cattle to the weight necessary for slaughter. Replacement cattle are similar, but have the intended purpose of being purchased specifically for breeding or dairy production. This new index allows the PPI to measure the change in prices from these transactions, providing broader coverage of domestic cattle ranching activities.

For further information on PPI data for the slaughter cattle and for the feeder and replacement cattle indexes, please contact Joe Nunes at or (202) 691-7839.


Last Modified Date: December 13, 2021