This article first appeared in the November issue of Drovers CattleNetwork.​

Packers appear to be coming off several months of decent profits and may be moving into a time of razor-thin margins.

Feeders are ready to make the same move, but in spades.

Projections from John Nalivka at Sterling Marketing suggest cattle feeders will suffer per-head losses of $450 to $480 from October through December.

He says packers generally had profits varying from $35 to $120 per head May through October of this year, but he projects through 2016 that feeders could post per head losses of about $10 to profits of about $12.

He also predicts fed cattle, a major input for packers, could post a spring high of $142 in March or April but stay below that the rest of the year.