Cattle feeding losses near $50 per head

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Cattle feeding margins declined $20 per head last week after a decline of more than $1 hundredweight in cash cattle prices, leaving average losses at near $50 per head, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker.

Beef packers saw their margins remain steady, with losses at $66 per head. The Sterling Beef Profit Quotient declined 60 points for the week and the industry profitability index is now negative 163.9, according to estimates developed by Sterling Marketing, Inc., Vale, Ore. A month ago the Sterling Beef Profit Quotient was a negative 254.5.

Pork producer margins improved $7.53 per head last week, with margins now at a negative $28.36 per hog marketed. Negotiated cash hog prices increased $0.80 per hundredweight last week to $84.67. Pork packer margins declined $0.19 per head for the week, creating losses of $3.39 per head, according to the Sterling Pork Profit Tracker.

A year ago cattle feeders sold cash cattle at $123 per hundredweight, resulting in losses of $14.09 per head. Last year cash hogs fetched $84.85 per hundredweight, resulting in losses of $4.73 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 Jan. 12:

  • Average feedyard margins: -$48.68 per head.
  • Average packer margins: -$66.36 per head.
  • Sterling Profit Quotient: -163.9.

The Sterling Pork Profit Tracker for the week ending Jan. 11:

  • Average farrow-to-finish margins: -$28.36 per head.
  • Average pork packer margins: -$3.10 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.



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