Train wreck continues for cattle feeders

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Cattle feeding margins declined more than $38 per head last week, leaving average losses just over $83 per head, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker.

Beef packers saw their margins decline $3 per head on the week leaving losses in excess of $50 per head. The Sterling Beef Profit Quotient lost 116 points for the week and the industry profitability index is now negative 265.8, according to estimates developed by Sterling Marketing, Inc., Vale, Ore. A month ago the Sterling Beef Profit Quotient was a negative 332.

Pork producer margins improved $15.79 per head last week, with margins now $15.09 in the red per hog marketed. Negotiated cash hog prices improved $3 per hundredweight last week. Pork packer margins declined $0.74 per head for the week, leaving losses at $13.50 per head, according to the Sterling Pork Profit Tracker.

A year ago cattle feeders sold cash cattle at $120.84 per hundredweight, resulting in losses of $30 per head. Last year cash hogs fetched $91.08 per hundredweight, resulting in profits of $6.13 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 Sept. 29:

  • Average feedyard margins: -$83.47 per head.
  • Average packer margins: -$54.58 per head.
  • Sterling Profit Quotient: -265.8.

The Sterling Pork Profit Tracker for the week ending Sept. 28:

  • Average farrow-to-finish margins: -$15.09 per head.  
  • Average pork packer margins: $13.50 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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USA  |  October, 02, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Did latest regs outlaw red meat in public school cafeterias? That is what some kids are telling me. If true, maybe that is why they are suing over Pork is the other white meat slogan. Huh? Cut pork and beef out of schools. What will be next? Chicken, fish and what. The kids can't all eat just oysters like Peter Singer.

SD  |  October, 02, 2012 at 04:35 PM

USDA controls or influences what is eaten in school cafeterias and they have NOT "outlawed" red meat. What they did was allow, maybe even encourage, elimination of the Lean Finely Textured Beef which was used to bring down the fat content of the typical low priced/higher fat hamburger meat, and at a reasonable price. It was still ALL beef, just had some of the fat removed, and the LFTB never had positive tested meat get to the public due to their process using a very a means very common in many foods. Also, politically correct 'food police' determined that kids all are too fat and they dramatically cut the amount of food, calories, and protein students may eat at school meals. To the detriment of healthy, growing kids, especially athletes. Some gentle tweaks would have been more likely to succeed, such as, education as to what constitutes wise choices, calorie content, etc, and the reinstatment of recess and PE would have done more good, according to many professionals as well as parents and students.

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