A month ago cattle feeding losses exceeded $90 per head, so this week’s losses of $17 per head look good by comparison. Improving cattle feeding margins are the result of higher cash cattle prices and slightly lower feeding costs, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker.
Beef packer margins slipped lower as packers had to raise bids to attract sellers. Packers saw a profit of more than $5 for every animal processed last week. The Sterling Beef Profit Quotient improved 132 points for the week, according to estimates developed by Sterling Marketing, Inc., Vale, Ore.
Pork producer margins improved more than $11per head, pulling margins out of the red for the first time this month. Pork packer margins declined nearly $5 per head, pushing losses to more than $5 per head, according to the Sterling Pork Profit Tracker.
Cash fed cattle traded at $122.72 per hundredweight last week, up $2.82, while Western Corn Belt negotiated hog prices jumped $5.31to $84.27 per hundredweight.
A year ago cattle feeders sold cash cattle at $107.68 per hundredweight, resulting in profits of $22.88 per head. Last year cash hogs fetched $95.23 per hundredweight resulting in profits of $28.84 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 May 19:
- Average feedyard margins: -$17.40 per head.
- Average packer margins: $5.47 per head.
- Sterling Profit Quotient: -51.1.
The Sterling Pork Profit Tracker for the week ending May 19:
- Average farrow-to-finish margins: $7.49 per head.
- Average pork packer margins: -$5.05 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.