Pork producer margins dropped $15 per head last week due to a $7.59 per cwt. decline in lean carcass prices. Despite the decline, pork producers saw average profits of about $6 per head, according to the Sterling Pork Profit Tracker.
Calculations by Sterling Marketing, Vale, Ore., suggest pork producers are significantly more profitable than at the same time last year when average margins were negative $52 per head.
Pork packers also saw a decline in profit margins last week, losing slightly more than $1 per head to an average of $15 per head.
Weekly Pork and Beef Profit Trackers are calculated by Sterling Marketing.
For farrow-to-finish pork producers, Sterling Marketing president Nalivka projects an average profit of $11 per head in 2019, as compared with an average profit of $1.35 per head in 2018. Pork packers are projected to earn $12 per head in 2019, about $8 less than the $20 per head profits of 2018.