Cattle feeders saw a significant, unseasonal bump in profit margins last week. Mid-June typically finds cash fed cattle prices drifting lower as supplies increase. Last week , however, produced a fed cattle market steady to $2 higher, and the result was nearly a $25 increase in per head profits.
Cattle feeding margins jumped to $194 per head last week, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker. Likewise, pork producers experienced a near $10 per head bump in profit margins. Farrow to finish margins are now more than $91 per head. Both beef and pork profit margins are calculated by John Nalivka, president, Sterling Marketing, Vale, Ore.
Cattle feeders’ profits last week were $373 per head more than at the same time last year when $179 per head losses were recorded. Beef cutout values increased nearly $7 per cwt. last week, and packer margins increased more than $25 per head, leaving packers with per head profits of $49.39. A month ago packers recorded profits of $20 on every animal processed, while profits totaled $81 per head at the same time last year. Pork packers saw a slight decrease in profit margins from $4.15 to $3.98 per head last week.
Farrow-to-finish hog margins are about $19 per cwt. above where they were a month ago, and significantly better than the $24 per head profits seen last year. Cash prices for fed cattle are nearly $30 per cwt. higher than last year, and negotiated hog prices are more than $19 per cwt. higher than last year.