Profit Tracker: Margins Improve 20%

BT_Feedlot_Bunk_Cattle
BT_Feedlot_Bunk_Cattle
(Wyatt Bechtel)

A $6-plus per cwt. gain in cash cattle prices produced a 20% improvement in feeding margins. It was a $150 per head improvement, but still feedyards lost $546 on every animal shipped last week, according to Sterling Marketing, Inc., Vale, Ore.

USDA’s reported 5-area cash price last week was $123.48 per cwt., $6.67 per cwt. higher than the week before, yet $42 per cwt. short of breakeven.

Feeder cattle prices factored into Sterling Marketing’s sample closeout held firm last week at $147 per cwt., but that price is $26 per cwt. lower than a month ago, and $75 per cwt. lower than a year ago. Yearling steers factored into last week’s placements at $563 per head less.

Beef packer margins declined nearly $41 per head, resulting in average profits of $26 on every animal processed. Packer margins are about $6 per head better than last month.

A month ago cattle feeders were losing $562 per head, while a year ago losses were pegged at $23 per head, according to Sterling Marketing. Feeder cattle represent 79% of the cost of finishing a steer.

A month ago beef packers were earning $20 for every animal processed, while a year ago packers were losing $60, Sterling Marketing estimates.

Farrow-to-finish pork producers lost $28 per hog last week, about $3 per head more than the previous week, but $2 per head better than the $30 per head loss found a month ago.

Pork packers saw their margins decline $6 to a profit of $34 per head. Negotiated prices for lean hogs were $51.06 per cwt. last week, a decline of $0.50 per cwt. from the previous week. Cash prices for fed cattle are $38 per cwt. lower than last year, and negotiated hog prices are $26 per cwt. lower than last year.

Nalivka projects average cash profit margins for cow-calf producers at $412 per cow this year. Last year’s estimated average cow-calf margins were $526 per cow. Cow-calf profits for 2016 are projected at $212 per cow.

 

Latest News

Winter cattle feeding
Cash Cattle Weaker As Grain Rallies

Cash cattle prices slipped lower throughout the week as packer demand was called moderate. Grain markets posted a significant rally on the heels of USDA's report on Tuesday.

2 hours ago
Packing plant workers
Fired Tyson Managers: ‘Betting Pool’ Stories Distorted

Former Tyson Foods Waterloo, Iowa, plant managers dispute claims of how an "office pool" regarding COVID-19 was portrayed in news stories and deny it was about how many employees would contract the virus.

1 hour ago
Dream Lake with Hallett Peak in the background, at Rocky Mountain National Park.
Hi-Plains Researchers To Help Protect Rocky Mountain National Park

A Texas A&M AgriLife team will work with the Colorado Livestock Association and other stakeholders to refine and evaluate practices to reduce agricultural ammonia emissions into Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park.

12 min ago
AL Ranch
Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. Launches “MBA NextGen”

MBA NextGen updates the popular MBA training modules making it easier than ever for a new generation of farmers and ranchers to share their story and advocate knowledgeably for the beef industry.

8 min ago
Greg Henderson
Overall Meat Sales Higher In 2020

Meat sales - both dollar values and volume - were significantly higher in 2020. Those gains, however, came at the expense of a crippled restaurant and food service industry that may take years to recover.

9 min ago
Progressive Beef
Progressive Beef and Wendy’s® Advance Partnership

Wendy's announces 15% increase in percentage of beef sourced through Progressive Beef-certified producers in 2020; on track to meet goal of at least 50% this year.

14 min ago