Most key cattle prices improved in September, turning monthly feeder profit margins positive for the first time this year. Cattle prices were supported by the most recent Cattle on Feed report, showing lower inventories during the month.

The eight indicators show improvement across the board for the industry. Falling production costs and higher feed-conversion and average-daily-gain fi gures during September were supportive. Corn prices were 83 cents per bushel cheaper, while hay prices fell $43.34 per ton compared to the previous month. Lower input costs moved the average cost of gain down $1.48 per hundredweight.

The Drovers/CattleNetwork retail price index shows beef prices were only a penny higher, while broiler prices increased by 7 cents per pound to reach $2 and pork prices gained 8 cents to hit $3.03.

Cash prices improve, feeder margins turn positive