Already facing steep losses, cattle feeders saw their margins decline further in a dismal pre-Labor Day market. Cash fed cattle prices were $3 lower at $141.97, leaving feedyards with losses exceeding $270 per head, $49 more than the previous week, according to calculations by Sterling Marketing, Vale, Ore.
Beef packers saw their margins improve another $12 per head with average per head profits now at $115. The beef cutout declined $3 per cwt. to $238.95.
A month ago cattle feeders were losing $46 per head, while a year ago profits were pegged at $222 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 losing $5 for every animal processed, while a year ago packers were earning $30, Sterling Marketing estimates.
Farrow-to-finish pork producers showed a profit margin of $12 per hog last week, a decline of $8 per head from the previous week and down $9 from a month ago.
Pork packers saw their margins improve $6 per head to $18. Negotiated prices for lean hogs were $71.40, per cwt. last week, down $4.20 per cwt. from the previous week.
Cash prices for fed cattle are $20 per cwt. lower than last year, and negotiated hog prices are $26 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.