Profit Tracker: Feedyard Margins Rapidly Declining


Greg Henderson, Drovers  

May 14, 2019


Cattle feeding margins shed another $26 per head last week as cash prices declined $3 per cwt. Industry average profit margins on cattle sold last week were $91 per head, which is 50% lower than two weeks ago, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker.


For the week ending May 10, cash cattle sold for an average of $120.24 per cwt., while the beef cutout closed the week at $221.13 down $6.88 from May 3. Packers saw profits of $149.56 per head last week, $19 lower than the previous week. The Beef and Pork Profit Trackers are calculated by Sterling Marketing Inc., Vale, Ore.


A year ago cattle feeders were earning an average of $20 per head. Feeder cattle represent 72% of the cost of finishing a steer compared with 72% a year ago.


Farrow-to-finish pork producers saw their margins decline $2 per head with profits of $47. Lean carcass prices traded at $82.73 per cwt., $0.26 per cwt. lower than the previous week, and $4.86 higher than a month ago. A year ago pork producer margins were positive $9 per head. Pork packer margins averaged a loss of $3 per head last week.


Sterling Marketing president John Nalivka projects cash profit margins for cow-calf producers...


more, including links to Sterling Beef & Pork Profit Trackers