While feedlot margins dropped more than $16 last week, they finished the week ending July 12 at $302.56 per head, according to the latest data from the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker. A month ago at this time, feeders were earning $170.58 per head, but last year at this time, they were losing more than $187 per head.

Fed cattle prices also cooled off a bit last week, dropping to $156.02 per hundredweight from the previous week’s $157.75. Compared to a year ago, fed cattle are bringing more than $37 per hundredweight more. Feeder steers continued to rally and reached $217.32 last week, compared to $214.32 the previous week, $194.20 one month ago and $148.10 at this time last year. The breakeven price for last week’s placements was $163.37, up from $163.31 the previous week.

Packer margins had modest gains last week, reaching $52.08 per head, compared to $47.37 the previous week. The beef cutout value increased last week to $248.64, up from $245.82 the previous week, $229.54 last month and $191.05 at this time last year.

Farrow-to-finish margins climbed nearly $7 per head last week, reaching $110.25 the week of July 11 compared to $103.81 the previous week, according to the Sterling Pork Profit Tracker. At this time last month, the farrow-to-finish margin was $82.75 per head and last year it stood at $19.89. Lean hogs were continued to climb higher last week, increasing to $132.62, compared to $129.23.

Pork packer margins dipped back into the red last week, falling to negative $0.52  per head, compared to $2.37 the previous week. Last month, pork packers were making $4.04 per head. The pork cutout value increased to $134.86 from $132.88 the previous week.  

The Sterling Beef Profit Tracker for the week ending July 12:

  • Average feeder margins: $302.56 per head.
  • Average beef packer margins: $52.08 per head.

The Sterling Pork Profit Tracker for the week ending July 11:                                          

  • Average farrow-to-finish margins: $110.25 per head.
  • Average pork packer margins: -$0.52 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.