Cattle feeding losses were estimated at $157 per head the week ending July 31, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker. Negotiated cash cattle prices averaged $99.33 per cwt. on the week, about $1 higher than the previous week.
Packer margins were estimated at $286 per head, about $9 less than the previous week. The Choice beef cutout price averaged $200 per cwt., about even with 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 $61 per head on closeouts the last week of July, while packers saw profits of $153. (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 71% 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 improve $14, with $43 per head losses. Lean carcass prices traded at $37.32 per cwt. A year ago pork producers earned $51 per head profit. Pork packers saw average profits of $60 per head, about $6 per head lower than 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.)