Feedlot margins dropped significantly last week, from $284.85 per head down to $197.88 per head for the week ending August 16, says the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker’s latest report. The two-week skid came after margins topped out at $381.70 per head for the week ending August 2. The decline is well below the $280.55 per head price from a month ago, but significantly higher than this time last year when feedlot margins were losing $41.58 per head.

Fed cattle prices continue to decline, dropping to $154.69 per hundredweight last week. The $5.39 per hundredweight decline is below the $156.26 per hundredweight price last month and when they were bringing $123.00 per hundredweight this time a year ago. Feeder steer prices also slightly dipped last week, moving from $223.00 per hundredweight to $217.80. A month ago, fed cattle were bringing $213.46 per hundredweight, well above the $154.42 per hundredweight this time last year.

Packers continue to gain progress with a $2.23 per head increase from the previous week, topping out at $112.22 per head last week. This is nearly double from a month ago when packers were making $68.66 per head and $9.44 per head a year ago. Beef cutout prices were down $5.11 from the previous week, settling at $255.63. This is still higher than last month’s value of $248.57 and a year ago this time of $190.00.

Farrow-to-finish margins continue to decline, dropping from $77.80 per head in the previous week to $61.74 per head for the week ending August 15, according to the Sterling Pork Profit Tracker. This is a $49.53 per head decline from this time a month ago when farrow-to-finish margins were bringing $111.27 per head. While the amount of decline is large, it is much higher from a year ago when they were only bringing $25.48 per head. Lean hogs also continue to drop, moving from $117.53 in the previous week to $109.97 last week.

After making significant increases to $13.95 per head in the previous week, pork packer margins are back down, settling at $7.23 per head last week. At this time a month ago, packers were making $3.11 per head and $1.34 per head a year ago. Pork cutouts continue to decline, dropping from $126.70 in the previous week to $116.00 last week. This continual drop has lowered cutouts from $136.11 a month ago, however they are still above the $103.57 value from this time last year.

The Sterling Beef Profit Tracker for the week ending August 16:

  • Average feeder margins: $180.42 per head
  • Average beef packer margins: $75.07 per head

The Sterling Pork Profit Tracker for the week ending Aug15:

  • Average farrow-to-finish margins: $69.07 per head.
  • Average pork packer margins: $6.40 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.