Cash fed cattle prices were mostly steady last week, but finished cattle carried breakevens that were $3 per hundredweight lower than the previous week, resulting in a significant improvement in feedyard margins. Margins, however, remain firmly in the red, with cattle losing more than $60 per head, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker.
Beef packer margins slipped lower with a slight decline to boxed beef prices. Packers saw a profit of more than $3 for every animal processed last week. The Sterling Beef Profit Quotient improved 117 points for the week, according to estimates developed by Sterling Marketing, Inc., Vale, Ore.
Pork producer margins declined nearly $4 per head,keeping margins in the red for the second consecutive week. Pork packer margins improved nearly $3 per head, but pork packer margins remain slightly in the red, according to the Sterling Pork Profit Tracker.
Cash fed cattle traded at $119.90 per hundredweight last week, up $0.22, while Western Corn Belt negotiated hog prices dropped $0.36 to $78.96 per hundredweight.
A year ago cattle feeders sold cash cattle at $112 per hundredweight, resulting in profits of $98 per head. Last year cash hogs fetched $92.09 per hundredweight resulting in profits of $24.20 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 12:
- Average feedyard margins: -$61.89 per head.
- Average packer margins: $13.49 per head.
- Sterling Profit Quotient: -183.2.
The Sterling Pork Profit Tracker for the week ending May 12:
- Average farrow-to-finish margins: - $4.02 per head.
- Average pork packer margins: -$0.17 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.