Feeder, packer margins retreat mid-month

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Feeder margins finished the week ending December 14 in the red at negative $17.22, compared to $45.42 the previous week, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker. A month ago, feeder margins topped $84 but have gradually fallen the past 30 days. However, last week’s negative $17.22 is $63.46 per hundredweight better than the negative $80.68 last year at this time. Feed costs were down $2.10 over the week, while total costs were $1.11 higher. Fed cattle have remained above $130 for the past eight weeks and finished the week at $131. Feeders finished the week at $164, compared to $163.60 the previous week.

Packer margins fell deeper in the red last week to negative $37.68, compared to negative $30.90 the previous week and negative $30.71 one month ago. The beef cutout value continues to hover around $200, and finished the week ending December 14 at $197.82, compared to $199.18 a week ago and $198.75 at this time last month. The beef cutout value was $8.55 higher than it was at this time last year.  

After a jump last week toward positive margins, the farrow-to-finish margin dropped to negative $4.38, compared to negative $3.40 the previous week and negative $21.37 one month ago, according to the Sterling Pork Profit Tracker. Lean hogs were down $1.66 last week to $79.49, compared to $81.15 the previous week. Feed costs increased $1.42 last week, and finished the week $1.44 higher at $144.22.

Packer margins decreased last week, finishing the week ending December 13 to $14.58 compared to $12.72 the previous week and $15.65 one month ago. The pork cutout fell $0.80 last week, finishing at $89.47.

The Sterling Beef Profit Tracker for the week ending December 14:

  • Average feeder margins: -$17.22 per head.
  • Average beef packer margins: -$37.68 per head.

The Sterling Pork Profit Tracker for the week ending December 13:                                          

  • Average farrow-to-finish margins: -$4.38per head.
  • Average pork packer margins: $14.58 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.



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