Feedlot margins pushed higher again last week, according to the latest Sterling Profit Tracker data. As cash prices have climbed from $163.81 per hundredweight one month ago to $170 last week, feedlot margins have increased from $175.72 per head one month to the current $231.23. Last year at this time, feedlot margins and fed cattle prices averaged $84.63 per head and $132 per hundredweight, respectively.

Feeders weighing between 750 and 800 pounds were down last week, averaging $236.17 the week of November 15, compared to $239.20 the previous week and $241.02 at this time last month. However, last year at this time, feeders were brining just shy of $166. Feed costs were up nearly $9 per head last week to $309.37, compared to $300.84 the previous week. The breakeven cost for last week’s placement was $175.23 per hundredweight, according to John Nalivka with Sterling Marketing, Inc.

Packer margins fell deeper in the red last week, averaging negative $83.55 per head, compared to negative $75.31 the previous week and negative $44.94 last month. At this time last year, packers were losing an average of $35.48. The beef cutout value last week was $247.88, compared to $247.36 the previous week.

Farrow-to-finish margins were up again last week, according to the Sterling Pork Profit Tracker. Margins topped $34 per head, compared to $29 the previous week. Last year at this time, margins were negative $21.37.

Lean hogs were up slightly, averaging $88.53 per hundredweight the week of November 14, compared to $88.09 the previous week. Feed costs were also up for hogs, topping $79.50 per head, compared to $76.07 the previous week.

Pork packer margins also dropped, averaging $7.58 per head last week compared to $9.58 the previous week. The pork cutout value finished the week at $95.37 per hundredweight, compared to $95.91 the previous week.

The Sterling Beef Profit Tracker for the week ending November 15:

  • Average feeder margins: $231.23 per head
  • Average beef packer margins: -$83.55 per head

The Sterling Pork Profit Tracker for the week ending November 14:

  • Average farrow-to-finish margins: $34.39 per head.
  • Average pork packer margins: $7.58 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.