Cattle feeders saw another significant bump in profit margins last week. The unseasonal rally in fed cattle prices saw the market gain $4 to $5 per cwt. last week, which pushed average cattle feeding profits to $319 per head, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker. Farrow to finish pork margins increased slightly to $103 per head. Both beef and pork profit margins are calculated by John Nalivka, president, Sterling Marketing, Vale, Ore.
Cattle feeders’ profits last week were a whopping $514 per head more than at the same time last year when $195 per head losses were recorded. Beef cutout values increased nearly $3 per cwt. last week, but the higher cost of cattle reduced packer margins by $33 per head. Per head packer profits last week were estimated at $47. Packer profits totaled $77 per head at the same time last year. Pork packers saw a slight increase in profit margins from an 18 cent loss to $2.47 per head profits.
Farrow-to-finish hog margins are about $28 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 $39 per cwt. higher than last year, and negotiated hog prices are nearly $28 per cwt. higher than last year.