Cash fed cattle prices ended last week $10 per cwt. lower than last year while the beef cutout closed $16 higher than the same week a year ago. The result? Packer margins $314 per head more than last year.
Beef packer profits totaled a collective $186 million last week, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker.
Packer margins improved $55 per head last week as Choice beef cutout values gained nearly $4 per cwt and cash cattle prices declined $1 per cwt.
Cattle and hog margins are headed south as supplies build and packers run near capacity.
Cattle feeding margins declined $34 per head last week as cash cattle prices fell $2 per cwt. , leaving closeouts $5 per head in the red.
Cash cattle prices declined $2 per cwt. last week while the beef cutout dipped $3 per cwt., contributing to lower industry margins.
Last week's fed cattle rally improved cattle feeding margins $100 per head.
The $4-plus rally in cash fed cattle prices pulled feedyards out of the red, and packer margins remain at historic levels.
Projected annual profit margins for beef packers and cattle feeders have been updated by Sterling Marketing, Inc.