Cattle feeding margins declined $22 per head last week, but remain more than $280. That’s a tidy profit, especially considering feedyards were losing more than $123 per head at the same time last year. The decline in profit margins was due to higher feeding costs and breakevens that were nearly $2 higher than the previous week, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker. Farrow to finish pork margins increased $1 per head to $111. Both beef and pork profit margins are calculated by John Nalivka, president, Sterling Marketing, Vale, Ore.
Cattle feeders’ profits last week were a whopping $404 per head more than at the same time last year. Beef cutout values increased by just 24 cents per cwt., but packer margins improved nearly $15 per head last week to total $67 per head. Packer profits totaled $37 per head at the same time last year. Pork packers saw an increase in profit margins from a 52-cent per head loss to a $3.11 profit per head.
Farrow-to-finish hog margins are about $20 per head above where they were a month ago, and significantly better than the $15 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 $32 per cwt. higher than last year.