Closeouts continue to improve for feedyard managers, but cattle are still losing money on a cash basis. Cattle feeding margins increased $40 per head for the week, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker. Still, feedyards lost an average of $84 per head on cattle marketed last week.

Cattle feeding margins improve $40 per headPacker margins have been declining for several weeks. Last week packing margins declined $8 per head leaving margins at about $7, according to estimates by Sterling Marketing, Inc., Vale, Ore.

Pork producer margins improved $17.17 per head, with margins now a positive $29.85 per hog marketed, according to the Sterling Pork Profit Tracker. Negotiated cash hog prices gained $2.21 per hundredweight last week to $101.38. Pork packer margins improved $1.88 per head for the week, finishing near breakeven.

A year ago cattle feeders sold cash cattle at $119 per hundredweight, resulting in losses of $185 per head. Last year cash hogs fetched $92.38 per hundredweight, resulting in profits of $15 per head.

The Sterling Beef and Pork Profit Trackers are calculated using actual weekly prices for both cattle and hogs, feed costs, beef and pork cutout prices, drop credits and other factors that influence profit margins.

The Sterling Beef Profit Tracker for the week ending August 10:

  • Average feedyard margins: -$83.98 per head.
  • Average packer margins: $7.66 per head.

The Sterling Pork Profit Tracker for the week ending August 9:

  • Average farrow-to-finish margins: $29.85 per head.
  • Average pork packer margins: $0.13 per head.

The Sterling Beef and Pork Profit Trackers are produced by Sterling Marketing Inc. and John Nalivka, president, Vale, Ore., and are published weekly by Drovers/CattleNetwork, and PorkNetwork.