Last week saw cattle feeding margins decrease $2.38 per head to an average profit of $170. The modest decline in profitability was due to higher cash costs for feeder cattle against fed cattle marketed last week, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker.
Profit margins for pork producers recorded gains last week of $8.01 per head for average profits of $74.74 per head. Negotiated cash hog prices were reported at $5.65 per cwt. higher for the week while feed costs declined slightly. Pork packers recorded average profits of $4.26 per hog last week, down from the $9.69 per head profits they earned the week before. Both beef and pork margins are calculated by John Nalivka, president, Sterling Marketing, Vale, Ore.
Cattle feeders’ profits last week were $367 per head more than at the same time last year when $196 per head losses were recorded. Beef cutout values increased $3.90 per cwt. last week, and packer margins declined $24 per head, leaving packers with per head profits of $23. A month ago packers recorded losses of $47 on every animal processed, while profits totaled $71 per head at the same time last year.
Farrow-to-finish hog margins are about $6 per cwt. above where they were a month ago, and significantly better than the $18 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 $15 per cwt. higher than last year.