Profit Tracker: Another Ugly Week

August 21, 2015 10:31 AM
Profit Tracker: Another Ugly Week

Cattle feeding losses jumped back into triple digits last week on softer fed cattle prices. Feedyards lost an average of $106 on every animal sold, more than double the $46 per head losses seen the previous week, according to calculations by Sterling Marketing, Vale, Ore. Choice steer prices averaged $150.60 per cwt., $1.23 per cwt. lower than the previous week.

Beef packers saw their margins improve dramatically – from a $6 per loss to a $30 per head profit last week. Packers’ improving margins were due to the lower cash cattle trade and a $7.41 per cwt. rally in the beef cutout price.

A month ago cattle feeders were losing $105 per head, while a year ago profits were pegged at $198 per head, according to Sterling Marketing. Feeder cattle represent 78 % of the cost of finishing a steer, still significantly higher than last year’s 72%.

A month ago beef packers were losing $15 on every animal processed, while a year ago packers were earning $112, Sterling Marketing estimates.

Farrow-to-finish pork producers showed a profit margin of $24 per hog last week, up $2 from the  previous week and up $1 from a month ago.

Pork packers saw their margins improve $2 per head to a $14 per head profit. Negotiated prices for lean hogs were $77.66 per cwt. last week, up 18 cents per cwt. from the previous week.

Cash prices for fed cattle are $4 per cwt. lower than last year, and negotiated hog prices are $40 per cwt. lower than last year.

Nalivka projects average cash profit margins for cow-calf producers at $606 per cow this year. Last year’s estimated average cow-calf margins were $548 per cow. Cow-calf profits for 2016 are projected at $490 per cow.

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Spell Check

san antonio, TX
8/23/2015 08:48 AM

  as china continues it slow down along with alot of the asian markets, more pressure will be on beef chicken and porkt, lower demand and lower prices are in the futures market for the foreseeable future for most of these commodities.

chicago, IL
8/23/2015 12:38 PM

  Sure wish I could find an article explaining how when ethanol was a big factor in the price of corn going from $4.00 per bushel to $8.00 the retail price of beef went up tremendously. Now that corn has gone down to around $4.00 per bushel again, the retail price of beef keeps on going up? Has obama set the minimum wage for a steer at $15.00 per hour?