Feedlot margins and fed cattle prices weaken

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Feedlot lot margins took a steep hit, just shy of $70.00 per head last week, dropping margins from the previous week’s $354.40 per head price to $284.85 per head for the week ending August 9, says the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker’s latest report. While this is well above a year ago when margins were $83.98 per head in the red, it’s under the $302.56 per head price margins were bringing this time last month. Russia closing its borders to a select group of agricultural products, including American beef, last week is attributed to the drop. However, it is speculated for the market to bounce back as new market channels are found.

Fed cattle prices were slightly down last week, falling from $162.48 per hundredweight to $160.08. While the change in momentum is doesn’t follow the fed cattle prices continual climbing trend, it is above a year ago when fed cattle were bringing $121.00 per hundredweight and a month ago when they were at $156.02. Feeder steer prices continue increase, climbing from $221.87 per hundredweight in the previous week to $223.00 per hundredweight last week. Last month, feeder cattle were bringing $217.32 per hundredweight and $151.32 per hundredweight a year ago this time.

Packers continue to increase profit, hitting $108.01 per head last week, up from the previous week’s price of $92.37 per head. A year ago at this time, packers were barely breaking even at $3.02 per head and the current price is nearly double of that of a month ago when they were seeing $53.30 per head. The beef cutout value was slightly down from the previous week from $261.33 to $260.74. Last month at this time, cutouts were bringing $248.64 and selling for $186.09 a year ago.

Farrow-to-finish margins continue to fall, dropping from $91.75 per head in the previous week to $77.80 per head for the week ending August 8, according the Sterling Pork Profit Tracker. The continual decrease has dropped prices from $110.25 per head a month ago. While the decline is steep, it is well above a year ago when margins were at $29.85 per head. Lean hogs were also down last week, dropping from $123.28 in the previous week to $117.53.

Pork packer margins made huge leaps last week, jumping from $8.36 per head in the previous week to $13.95 per head last week. This is well above a month ago when packers were losing $0.52 per head and barely breaking even at $0.04 per head a year ago. Pork cutouts were slightly down last week, dropping from $129.73 to $126.70. This is a continual decline from a month ago when cutouts were bringing $134.86 however still above a year ago this time when they sold for $104.96.

The Sterling Beef Profit Tracker for the week ending August 9:

  • Average feeder margins: $214.45 per head
  • Average beef packer margins: $64.17 per head

The Sterling Pork Profit Tracker for the week ending Aug 8:

  • Average farrow-to-finish margins: $77.41 per head.
  • Average pork packer margins: $5.45 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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