Profit Tracker: Margins Decline $25 Per Head


Greg Henderson, Drovers

March 12, 2019


Cattle feeding margins declined $25 per head last week despite cash prices that were steady across all regions at $128 per cwt. Industry average profit margins on cattle sold last week were $125 per head, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker.


For the week ending March 8, cash cattle sold for an average of $128 per cwt., steady with the previous week, while the beef cutout closed the week at $224, up $5 from March 1. The Beef and Pork Profit Trackers are calculated by Sterling Marketing Inc., Vale, Ore.


A year ago cattle feeders were earning an average of $138 per head. Feeder cattle represent 74% of the cost of finishing a steer compared with 73% a year ago.


Farrow-to-finish pork producers saw their margins remain unchanged with losses at $24 per head. Lean carcass prices traded at $47.20 per cwt., $0.03 per cwt. lower than the previous week, and $4.38 lower than a month ago. A year ago pork producer margins were a positive $15 per head. Pork packer margins averaged a profit of $25 per head last week...


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