Profit Tracker: Feedyard Losses Improve $60 Per Head

Cattle feeding losses eased somewhat ( AHA )

Cattle feeding losses were estimated at $194 per head the week ending July 11, a $60 per head improvement over the previous week, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker. Negotiated cash cattle prices averaged $96.64 per cwt. on the week, about $1.40 higher than the previous week.

Packer margins were estimated at $350 per head, about $15 less than the previous week. The Choice beef cutout price averaged $203.38 per cwt., $2.21 per cwt. lower than the previous week.

Feedyard margins reported by the Sterling Profit Tracker are calculated on a cash basis only with no adjustment for risk management practices.

A year ago cattle feeders found cash profits of $36 per head on closeouts the second week of July, while packers saw profits of $173. (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 72% of the cost of finishing a steer compared to 70% a year ago. The Beef and Pork Profit Trackers are calculated by Sterling Marketing Inc., Vale, Ore.

Farrow-to-finish pork producers saw losses of $64 per hog last week as lean carcass prices traded at $30.57 per cwt. A year ago pork producers earned $22 per head profit. Pork packers saw average profits of $63 per head, down $2 per head from the previous week.

(Editor’s note: Sterling Marketing is a private, independent beef and pork consulting firm not associated with any packing company or livestock feeding enterprise.)