Minor gains in profit margins were found at feedyards last week, but average losses still exceed $178 per head, according to the Sterling Profit Tracker.

Beef packer margins gained $10 per head, and packers are finding average profits of more than $86 per head, according to estimates developed by Sterling Marketing, Inc., Vale, Ore.

Margins: still a wreck, but minor improvement; packers tidyPork producer margins improved $6.26 per head, with margins now a positive $24.68 per hog marketed, according to the Sterling Pork Profit Tracker. Negotiated cash hog prices gained $0.19 per hundredweight last week to $102.04. Pork packer margins gained $12.14 per head for the week, resulting in profits $2.28 per head.

A year ago cattle feeders sold cash cattle at $116 per hundredweight, resulting in losses of $140.46 per head. Last year cash hogs fetched $103.33 per hundredweight, resulting in profits of $44.22 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 June 22:

  • Average feedyard margins: -$178.80 per head.
  • Average packer margins: $86.35 per head.

The Sterling Pork Profit Tracker for the week ending June 21:

  • Average farrow-to-finish margins: $24.68 per head.
  • Average pork packer margins: $2.28 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.