Cattle feeding losses dipped near $200 per head again last week despite a cash market that gained $1 per hundredweight to $120, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker.

An $8 per hundredweight bounce in beef cutout values propelled packer margins nearly $54 per head higher, bringing packer margins into positive territory. The Sterling Beef Profit Quotient lost 24 points for the week and the industry profitability index is now negative 595.2, according to estimates developed by Sterling Marketing, Inc., Vale, Ore.

Pork producer margins declined 33 cents per head last week, yet profits remain more than $14 per hog marketed. Negotiated cash hog prices declined $3.58 per hundredweight last week. Pork packer margins improved $4.61 per head for the week, pushing margins to near $5 per head, according to the Sterling Pork Profit Tracker.

A year ago cattle feeders sold cash cattle at $113.42 per hundredweight, resulting in losses of $4 per head. Last year cash hogs fetched $103.19 per hundredweight, resulting in profits of $32.53 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 18:

  • Average feedyard margins: -$198.16 per head.
  • Average packer margins: $8.67 per head.
  • Sterling Profit Quotient: -595.2.

The Sterling Pork Profit Tracker for the week ending August 18

  • Average farrow-to-finish margins: $14.76 per head.
  • Average pork packer margins: $4.94 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.