Cattle feeding profit margins retreat further with a weaker cash market and limited packer interest.
Most Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts drifted lower on Monday on ample supplies that pressured wholesale beef values and could again hurt cash prices by Friday, traders said.
Average cattle and hog finishing margins are both positive for the third consecutive week, according to calculations in the Sterling Marketing Profit Tracker.
Cattle feeders saw closeouts with an average profit of $58 per head last week, down modestly from the week before.
For the first time since December, 2017, cattle feeding margins have exceeded packer margins in the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker.
Higher fed cattle prices ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday helped lift cattle feeding margins modestly.
Sharply lower cash cattle prices erased $100 per head from closeout profit margins last week and left cattle feeders re-evaluating ideas of a spring rally.
Cash cattle prices improved $1 per cwt., helping lift feeding margins to $118 per head, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker.