The profit margin spread between packers and feedyards has shifted more than $320 per head since last June.
Last week's $2 rally in cash cattle prices helped narrow the spread between feedyard losses and packer profits.
Beef packer continued with a stranglehold on cattle markets last week, buying a few cattle to fill their needs at lower money and keeping operating margins historically high.
Despite an average $1 decline in cash fed cattle prices last week, cattle feeding margins remained solidly profitable on a cash basis.
Cattle feeders continue to find modest profits on a cash basis despite last week's $2 per cwt. market retreat.
Cattle feeders and beef packers are both experiencing modest mid-winter profits, though both margins were slightly lower on cash prices of $121.
The Choice-Select spread is narrowing quickly now that the holiday purchasing is complete.
The combination of shrinking packer profits and smaller feedyard losses over the past six weeks has reduced the packer/feeder margin spread by 27%, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker.