Cattle feeding: inching closer to breakeven


Greg Henderson  |  Drovers CattleNetwork

Updated: 01/07/2013


Cattle feeding margins improved more than $13 per head last week on a $1 per hundredweight gain in cash cattle prices, leaving average losses at just over $28 per head, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker. Margins have improved $126 per head over the past four weeks.


Beef packers saw their margins decline more than $2 per head on the week leaving losses at more than $66 per head. The Sterling Beef Profit Quotient improved 40 points for the week and the industry profitability index is now negative 103.8, according to estimates developed by Sterling Marketing, Inc., Vale, Ore. A month ago the Sterling Beef Profit Quotient was a negative 360.5...


A year ago cattle feeders sold cash cattle at $121.03 per hundredweight, resulting in losses of $64.08 per head. Last year cash hogs fetched $83.28 per hundredweight, resulting in losses of $9.83 per head.


The Sterling Beef and Pork Profit Trackers are calculated using actual weekly prices for both cattle and hogs, feed costs, beef and pork cutout prices, drop credits and other factors that influence profit margins.


The Sterling Beef Profit Tracker for the week ending Jan. 5:


    Average feedyard margins: -$28.47 per head.

    Average packer margins: -$66.68 per head.

    Sterling Profit Quotient: -103.0.