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Profit Tracker: Feeding Margins Decline $70 Per Head

August 14, 2014
By: Greg Henderson, Beef Today Editorial Director
BT Feedlot Water Trough
Cattle feeding margins declined $70 per head last week, but remain more than $280.  

Cattle feeding margins declined $70 per head last week, but remain more than $280. That’s a tidy profit, especially considering feedyards were losing more than $83 per head at the same time last year. The decline in profit margins was due to a $2.50 per cwt. decline in fed prices last week and breakevens that were nearly $3 per cwt. higher than the previous week, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker. Farrow to finish pork margins declined nearly $14 per head to $77.80. Both beef and pork profit margins are calculated by John Nalivka, president, Sterling Marketing, Vale, Ore.

Cattle feeders’ profits last week were a whopping $368 per head more than at the same time last year. Beef cutout values remained nearly steady, but packer margins improved nearly $16 per head last week to total $108 per head. Packer profits totaled $3 per head at the same time last year. Pork packers saw a $5 per head increase in profit margins to nearly $14 per head.

Farrow-to-finish hog margins are about $32 per lower than they were a month ago, but significantly better than the $30 per head profits seen last year. Cash prices for fed cattle are nearly $39 per cwt. higher than last year, and negotiated hog prices are $16 per cwt. higher than last year.

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