Feeding, packing margins continue improvement

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Cattle feeding margins improved for the second consecutive week as cash cattle prices rallied $2 per hundredweight and breakevens inched lower. Margins gained more than $5 per head for the week, leaving losses under $50 per head, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker.

Beef packers saw their margins improve nearly $6 per head, leaving losses at $52 per head. The Sterling Beef Profit Quotient declined improved 20 points for the week and the industry profitability index is now negative 162.0, according to estimates developed by Sterling Marketing Inc., Vale, Ore.

Pork producer margins also gained ground, with margins at a negative $17.25 per hog marketed, an improvement of $8.27 per hog, according to the Sterling Pork Profit Tracker. Negotiated cash hog prices improved $2.24 per hundredweight last week to $82.82. Pork packer margins improved $1.76 per head for the week, resulting in losses of $0.39 per head.

A year ago cattle feeders sold cash cattle at $118.63 per hundredweight, resulting in losses of $107.33 per head. Last year cash hogs fetched $82.49 per hundredweight, resulting in profits of $8.82 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 April 27:

  • Average feedyard margins: -$49.25 per head.
  • Average packer margins: -$52.34 per head.
  • Sterling Profit Quotient: -162.0.

The Sterling Pork Profit Tracker for the week ending April 26:

  • Average farrow-to-finish margins: -$17.25 per head.
  • Average pork packer margins: -$0.39 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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