Cattle feeding margins declined more than $22 per head last week, moving into negative territory for the first time in a month at -$13.71. Packer margins improved, but remained at $0.63 below breakeven. The Sterling Profit Quotient also fell into negative territory, dropping from 25.8 to -41.5 for the week.

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 8/14/09:

  • Average feedyard margins: -$13.71 per head.
  • Average packer margins: -$0.63 per head.
  • Sterling Profit Quotient:   -41.5

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.