Cattle feeding margins declined more than $60 per head last week, while cash fed cattle prices moved $1 to $2 lower at $81 to $82 per hundredweight. Despite the lower cash market, packer margins declined another $6 per head. The Sterling Profit Quotient plunged nearly 200 points from the previous week.

“Cattle marketed last week went into feedyards as feeder cattle with a cost of $100.04 per hundredweight,” says Sterling Marketing president John Nalivka. “That means those cattle carried breakevens of about $90 per hundredweight.”

The Sterling Beef Profit Tracker is calculated using actual weekly prices for Choice fed steers, feeder steers, feed costs, boxed beef-cutout prices, hide and offal values, and other factors that influence profit margins.

The Sterling Beef Profit Tracker for the week ending 10/9/09:

  • Average feedyard margins: -$104.45 per head.
  • Average packer margins: -$67.85 per head.
  • Sterling Profit Quotient: -332.5

For additional information and a chart about this week’s Sterling Beef Profit Tracker, click here.

The Sterling Beef Profit Tracker is produced by Sterling Marketing Inc. and John Nalivka, president, Vale, Ore., and is published weekly by Drovers/CattleNetwork.