Profit Tracker: Feedyard, Packer Margins Slip Lower

Feedyard closeouts were modestly profitable


Greg Henderson, Drovers 

November 26, 2019


Gains in cash cattle prices did not translate into higher profits for feedyards last week. Cattle traded at $116, about $1 higher, but feedyard margins declined $35 per head to a modest average profit of $24, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker. The decline was due to higher feeder cattle prices calculated against last week’s closeouts.


Packer margins also slipped modestly, but packer profits still totaled an average of $363 per head. The packer/feeder margins spread was $339, about $1 higher than the previous week.


A year ago cattle feeders found profits of $39 per head on closeouts the third week in November, while packers saw profits of $224, for a spread of $185.


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


Feeder cattle represent 73% of the cost of finishing a steer compared to 73% 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 $1 per head, putting losses at $43 per head. Lean carcass prices traded at $44.06 per cwt., $0.18 per cwt. lower than the previous week. A year ago pork producers were losing $13 per head. Pork packers saw average profits of $78 per head, an decrease of $5 per head from the previous week.


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


more, including links to Sterling Beef and Pork Profit Trackers