Profit Tracker: Packer Margins Remain Above $450


by Greg Henderson, AgWeb 

Sep 05, 2019


Beef packers continued to maintain their leverage on cattle markets heading into the holiday-shortened first week of September. Packer margins declined $42 per head on beef cutout prices $5 per cwt. lower, yet packer margins remain at $450 per head. Cash cattle prices averaged $106.62 per cwt., about $1 lower. Cattle feeding margins held mostly steady with average losses of $55 per head, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker.


(Note: The Beef and Pork Profit Trackers are intended only as a benchmark for the average cash costs of feeding cattle and hogs.)


A year ago cattle feeders were losing an average of $40 per head on cash prices of $107. Feeder cattle represent 72% of the cost of finishing a steer compared to 74% a year ago.


The Beef and Pork Profit Trackers are calculated by Sterling Marketing Inc., Vale, Ore.


Farrow-to-finish pork producers saw their margins decline $15 per head with average profits of $6. Lean carcass prices traded at $62.11 per cwt., $7.59 per cwt. lower than the previous week. A year ago pork producer margins were negative $52 per head. Pork packers saw average profits of $15 per head, $1 less than the previous week.


Sterling Marketing president John Nalivka projects cash profit margins for cow-calf producers in 2019 will average $138 per cow. That would be 14% lower...


more, including links to Sterling Beef and Pork Profit Trackers