An almost $4.50 per hundredweight drop in fat cattle prices resulted in feeder margins falling more than $45 per head deeper into negative territory. Per head losses reached $163.78 the week ending June 6, according to the latest Sterling Beef Profit Tracker.

The 5-area direct price dropped from $159.30 the last week of May to $154.93 per hundredweight the first week of June. This is more than $5 lower that fat cattle prices 30 days ago but still nearly $10 per hundredweight higher than early June 2014. Feeder cattle were higher last week, with 750 to 800 pound placements averaging $227.11 per hundredweight. Breakeven prices for placements were also much higher last week, climbing nearly $7 per hundredweight to $168.62. Against marketings, breakeven prices were $1 lower at $167.53 per hundredweight, according to John Nalivka.

Packer margins dropped more than $52 per head to $13.49 the first week of June. The beef cutout value was down another $9 to $247.81, compared to $256.73 per hundredweight the previous week.

Farrow-to-finish margins were slightly higher again last week, reaching $31.86 per head profits, compared to $31.51 per head the previous week, according to the Sterling Pork Profit Tracker. Lean hogs were down 10 cents, averaging $81.84 per hundredweight, compared to $81.94 the previous week.

Pork packer margins improved last week, with losses averaging negative $1.30 per head compared to negative $2.29 per head the previous week. The pork cutout value finished the week at $86.68 per hundredweight, compared to $86.35 the previous week.

The Sterling Beef Profit Tracker for the week ending June 6:

  • Average feeder margins: -$163.78 per head.
  • Average beef packer margins: $13.49 per head.

The Sterling Pork Profit Tracker for the week ending June 5:

  • Average farrow-to-finish margins: $31.86 per head.
  • Average pork packer margins: -$1.30 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.