Profit Tracker: Rally Reduces Losses $112


Last week’s $4-plus rally in cash fed cattle prices cut average feedyard losses in half, leaving the red ink totaling $90 on every animal shipped. Cash prices traded at $109.62, better than last week, yet $8 per cwt. lower than a month ago. The total cost of finishing cattle last week was $1,616, compared to $1,666 the previous week and $2,154 last year, according to Sterling Marketing, Vale, Ore.

Beef packer margins decreased $4 per head to $143, according to calculations by Sterling Marketing. Packers earned an average of $130 per head during the same period a year ago.

A month ago cattle feeders were losing $52 per head, while a year ago losses were calculated at $273 per head. Feeder cattle represent 74% of the cost of finishing a steer, compared to 78% last year.

Farrow-to-finish pork producers lost $15 per hog last week, about $8 per head more than the week before. A month ago farrow-to-finish pork producers turned a $5 per head profit.

Pork packers saw their margins improve $6 per head to a total of $35, compared to $29 profits the week before. Negotiated prices for lean hogs were $58 per cwt. last week, a decline of $3 per cwt. from the previous week. Cash prices for fed cattle are $25 per cwt. lower than last year and prices for lean hogs are $12 per cwt. lower.

Sterling Marketing president John Nalivka projects average cash profit margins for cow-calf producers at $178 per cow this year. In 2017, Nalivka projects cow-calf profits of $82. Last year’s estimated average cow-calf margins were $432 per cow.


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
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th U.S. President, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2021.
Ag Industry Leaders Congratulate Biden, Echo His Call for Unity

Following the inauguration of President Joe Biden, the 46th President of the United States, agriculture industry leaders congratulated Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

3 hours 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
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