Both cattle feeding margins and beef packer margins saw significant decline last week as beef cutout values dropped nearly $5 per hundredweight. Cattle feeding margins declined more than $26 per head, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker, leaving margins below break even. Packer margins declined $36 per head, resulting in losses that now near $97 for each animal processed. The Sterling Beef Profit Quotient declined 89 points for the week, according to estimates developed by Sterling Marketing, Inc., Vale, Ore.
Pork producer margins improved $0.94 per head last week, leaving farrow-to-finish margins solidly profitable at more than $12 per head. Pork packer margins declined $0.29 per head, resulting in losses of more than $12 per head, according to the Sterling Pork Profit Tracker.
Cash fed cattle traded at $124.69 per hundredweight last week, down nearly $1, while Western Corn Belt negotiated hog prices were $82.92 per hundredweight, down $3.
A year ago cattle feeders sold cash cattle at $120.60 per hundredweight which resulted in profits of $245.46 per head. Last year cash hogs fetched $88.50 per hundredweight resulting in profits of $27.60 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 March 30:
- Average feedyard margins: -$3.55 per head.
- Average packer margins: -$96.48 per head.
- Sterling Profit Quotient: -35.5.
The Sterling Pork Profit Tracker for the week ending March 30:
- Average farrow-to-finish margins: $12.12 per head.
- Average pork packer margins: -$12.66 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.