Profit Tracker: Can It Get Any Worse?

September 22, 2015 11:03 AM

Unfortunately, yes. Cattle feeding margins took another nosedive last week after cash fed cattle prices tumbled another $3 to $4 per cwt. to settle at $135.19. Feedyard closeouts saw another $52 added to losses already exceeding $300 per head. Calculations by Sterling Marketing, Vale, Ore., put average cattle feeding losses at $357 per head last week as feedyards ordered another barrel of red ink.

Beef packers saw their margins decline $12 per head with average profits now at $129. The beef cutout declined more than $6 per cwt. to $230.12.

A month ago cattle feeders were losing $127 per head, while a year ago profits were pegged at $186 per head, according to Sterling Marketing. Feeder cattle represent 79% of the cost of finishing a steer, significantly higher than last year’s 73%.

A month ago beef packers were earning $84 for every animal processed, while a year ago packers were losing $10, Sterling Marketing estimates.

Farrow-to-finish pork producers showed a profit margin of $11 per hog last week, an increase of $4 per head from the  previous week and down $14 from a month ago.

Pork packers saw their margins decline $6 per head to $16. Negotiated prices for lean hogs were $69.78, per cwt. last week, an increase of $1 per cwt. from the previous week. Cash prices for fed cattle are $22 per cwt. lower than last year, and negotiated hog prices are $36 per cwt. lower than last year.

Nalivka projects average cash profit margins for cow-calf producers at $546 per cow this year. Last year’s estimated average cow-calf margins were $548 per cow. Cow-calf profits for 2016 are projected at $440 per cow.

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Spell Check

Mike S.
Brewster, KS
9/24/2015 07:17 AM

  Yes it can get alot worse.. Imports are up 34% to the USA market by the multinational meat packer cartell and all of you in the media promoted killing COOL. Well, you can't have it both ways with no competition and increase imports. This is not a recipe for success but rather a large batch of failures. Thanks for killing the best market in the world and record prices for USA producers (by the way the others captured better prices due to our leads in the markets with COOL). To bad you and others don't take a financial bath with cattle sometime and really find out how it is rather than living off the bogus checkoff and being now just a captive feeder for the packer selling commodity beef from any country to unknown and uninformed consumers who asked for COOL! Why do you guys support less producers, feeders and packers mentallity? I / We work to support more!


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