Indicators measuring America’s beef economy increased during July, with gains in production costs and key cattle prices leading the way. Production costs improved dramatically, as cash corn prices declined nearly 18 percent. That produced an improvement in the steer-corn ratio of nearly 18 percent, to 27.68. Key cattle prices saw modest improvement. Yearling feeder steers posted average price gains of $2.85 per hundredweight, while the average for fed steers was 44 cents per hundredweight lower in July. Cattle feeders saw closeout margins improve only slightly, with average per head losses estimated at about $7 during July. Production indicators earned an upward arrow as the number of cattle on feed declined along with placements, while marketings increased during July. Packer margins declined nearly $30 per head during July, with average profits per head estimated at about $16 for the month. Prices and profit margins are expected to come under pressure during August.