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Cattle Feeding Margins Top $200

February 19, 2014
By: Greg Henderson, Beef Today Editorial Director
midwestcattlefeedyard
  
 
 

Higher cattle prices and lower feed costs have translated into tidy profits for cattle feeders. Last week on average, cattle shipped from feedyards earned $209.54 per head, according to John Nalivka, president of Sterling Marketing, Inc., Vale Ore. Nalivka tracks prices and feeding costs for both cattle and hogs in a weekly summary called the Sterling Profit Tracker.

Feedyard margins received a boost from a $1.59 per cwt. increase in cash fed cattle prices last week to an average of $142.33. Lean hog prices gained $2.43 per cwt. to average $86.67. 

Cattle feeding margins increased more than $64 per head last week from a previous average profit of $145.47. The Sterling Profit Tracker also found an increase in farrow-to-finish hog margins, with average profits at $22.41 per head. The previous week’s profits were pegged at $18.30.

While livestock feeders are enjoying a profitable stretch in early 2014, packers have seen margins that are rather ugly, especially on the beef side. The Sterling Profit Tracker estimated packers lost an average of $83.20 on every steer and heifer slaughtered last week, which is more than $26 per head worse than the previous week’s average losses of $56.86 per head. Pork packer margins were in the black last week at $8.23 per head.

Feeding margins for both cattle and hogs are substantially better than the same week one year ago. Last year cattle feeders lost an average of $131.14 per head, which hog feeders lost an average of $17.70 per head.

 

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