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Profit Tracker: Feeding Margins Drop $87 Per Head

14:03PM Aug 18, 2014

Cattle feeding margins declined $87 per head last week, but remain near $200. That’s a tidy profit, especially considering feedyards were losing more than $41 per head at the same time last year. The decline in profit margins was due to a $5 per cwt. decline in fed prices last week, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker. Farrow to finish pork margins declined $16 per head to $61.74. Both beef and pork profit margins are calculated by John Nalivka, president, Sterling Marketing, Vale, Ore.

Cattle feeders’ profits last week were a whopping $240 per head more than at the same time last year. Beef cutout values declined about $5 per cwt., and packer margins improved $2 per head last week to total $112 per head. Packer profits totaled $9 per head at the same time last year. Pork packers saw a $7 per head decline in profit margins to $7.23 per head.

Farrow-to-finish hog margins are about $50 per lower than they were a month ago, but significantly better than the $25 per head profits seen last year. Cash prices for fed cattle are nearly $31 per cwt. higher than last year, and negotiated hog prices are $10 per cwt. higher than last year.