Profit Tracker: Modest Profits For Cattle And Hogs

Cattle and hogs find modest profits.
Cattle and hogs find modest profits.
(FJ)

Cattle and hog finishing margins are both positive for the fourth consecutive week.

Cattle feeding margins posted average profits of $136 per head last week, $14 per head less than the previous week. Cash prices for fed cattle declined nearly $1 on average to $107 per cwt., but margins held positive due to significantly lower feeder cattle prices calculated in closeouts, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker.

Cattle marketed last week were purchased last spring at prices diminished significantly by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Feeder steer prices factored into last week’s Profit Tracker were $122.16 per cwt., which is $19 per cwt. lower than last year. Those lower feeder cattle prices produced an average breakeven of $97 for cattle marketed last week. The previous week’s breakeven price was also $97 per cwt., and a year ago the breakeven was $111 per cwt. A year ago cattle feeders lost an average of $10 per head.

Packer margins declined $46 per head last week, though profits remain at $267 per head. Last week’s beef cutout price averaged $210 per cwt., a decline of $4 per cwt.

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

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

Sterling Marketing projects 2020 feedyard margins to average a $10 profit per head, while annual packer profits are projected at $314 per head. Cash cow-calf margins for 2020 are projected at $57 per calf.

Farrow-to-finish pork producers have seen their margins improve significantly over the past month with rising lean carcass prices.  Last week saw average closeouts post $20 per head profits, about $4 lower than the previous week, and $2 per head better than a month ago.

Lean hog carcass prices traded at $66.29 per cwt., $1.24 per cwt. less than the previous week. Lean carcass prices are $2.47 per cwt. higher than a month ago, and $5.61 higher than the same week a year ago. A year ago pork producers lost an average of $7 per head.

Pork packers saw average profits of $59 per head last week, about $9 per head more than the previous week.

Sterling Marketing projects 2020 annual per head losses for pork producers at $18 per head, while projected packer profits are $59 per head.

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

Related stories:

Cattle Trade: Cash And Futures Lower

 

Latest News

CAB Insider: Carcass Value Shifts, a Sign of the Times

Jan. fed cattle prices are normally choppy and we’re seeing that pattern in 2021. A primary difference, compared to 2020, is that last week’s average price is $14/cwt. lower, the same discount as the 5-year average.

18 min ago
Black Ink: Valued Partners

Partnerships aren’t always about a 50/50 business arrangement or who gets what tasks, sometimes they’re simply about having a vested interest in somebody else’s success.

12 min ago
One former Secretary of Agriculture thinks a Biden Administration and USDA will focus more on crafting a farm bill that includes a focus on conservation.
Why a Biden Administration May Not Buy into the Green New Deal

As President Joe Biden took office Wednesday, one former Secretary of Agriculture thinks a Biden Administration and USDA will focus more on helping craft a farm bill that focuses on conservation.

2 hours ago
As wild pigs continue to expand out of control in Canada, the risk of wild pigs moving into the U.S. is very real. This is especially true for North Dakota and Montana, but given how mobile feral swine are, the risks are far beyond that, says Ryan Brook of the University of Saskatchewan. 
Canada Fights Back Against Out-of-Control Wild Pig Population

Wild pig populations in Canada continue to expand rapidly and are completely out of control in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta. A new tool may help control this invasive species. Here's why you should take note.

1 hour ago
Broilers
Tyson Settles Anti-trust Case For $221.5 Million

Tyson Foods has agreed to pay a settlement of $221.5 million in the broiler chicken antitrust civil price-fixing lawsuit, according to filings Tuesday in federal court in Chicago.

40 min ago
.
Three Keys to Quality Colostrum for Beef Calves

Calves are wholly dependent on colostrum from their mothers and the instant a calf is born, a clock begins ticking on its colostrum intake that can have lasting effects on its health and productivity

12 min ago