Feeder margins drop below $200

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Feedlot margins dropped more than $34 per head last week and fell below $200 to finish at $176.51 per head, according to the latest data from the Sterling Profit Tracker. One month ago, feedlot margins were more than $247 per head, but last year at this time, feedlots were losing more than $55 per head.

Fed cattle prices finished the week ending April 19, 2014, at $147.13 per hundredweight, compared to $149.92 the previous week, $151.74 a month ago and $125.92 at this time last year. Feeder steers were up more than $1 to $176.13, compared to $174.92 the previous week. Feed costs also dropped and finished the week at $377.05, compared to $379.29, but total costs were up $7.50 per head to $1,870.04.

Packer margins improved last week, finishing the week at negative $59.37, compared to negative $63.53. At this time last year, packers were losing $62.79 per head. The beef cutout value was $221.84, compared to $223.08 the previous week.

Farrow-to-finish margins dropped below $100 per head to $84.60 per head, compared to $100.96 the previous week and $103.60 one month ago. At this time last year, according to the Sterling Pork Profit Tracker, the farrow-to-finish margin stood at negative $25.52 per head. Lean hogs finished the week at $118.10, compared to $124.84 the previous week.

Pork packer margins improved last week to $1.19 per head, compared to negative $1.75 per head the previous week and negative $2.15 at this time last year. The pork cutout value dropped to $121.74, compared to $127.17 the previous week.

The Sterling Beef Profit Tracker for the week ending April 19:

  • Average feeder margins: $175.51 per head.
  • Average beef packer margins: -$59.37      per head.

The Sterling Pork Profit Tracker for the week ending April 18:                                          

  • Average farrow-to-finish margins: $84.60 per head.
  • Average pork packer margins: $1.19 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, and PorkNetwork.



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Jim McGrann    
Texas  |  April, 22, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Would in not ne more meaningful to also express the margin and a return on investment (ROI)? Capital requirements are much different than historical levels. The feed yard closeout has the information to calculate ROI. Thanks, Jim


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