Despite a $17 per head decline, average feedyard margins remained above $300 last week. Fed cattle prices dipped $2 to $3 per cwt., but lower breakevens on outgoing cattle supported solid profts, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker. Farrow to finish pork margins increased nearly $7 per head to $110. Both beef and pork profit margins are calculated by John Nalivka, president, Sterling Marketing, Vale, Ore.
Cattle feeders’ profits last week were a whopping $490 per head more than at the same time last year when $187 per head losses were the norm. Beef cutout values increased nearly $3 per cwt. last week, helping packers improve their margins by nearly $5 per head. Per head packer profits last week were estimated at $52. Packer profits totaled $59 per head at the same time last year. Pork packers saw a slight decrease in profit margins from a $2.37 per head profit to a 52-cent per head loss.
Farrow-to-finish hog margins are about $28 per cwt. above where they were a month ago, and significantly better than the $20 per head profits seen last year. Cash prices for fed cattle are nearly $37 per cwt. higher than last year, and negotiated hog prices are $31 per cwt. higher than last year.