Pork producer profit margins slid a bit during the last week of June, dropping to $38.67 per head from the previous week at $44.22.  In the end, farrow-to-finish margins are close to year-ago levels at $34.85 per head.

It’s no secret that rising feed prices have changed the profitability course for producers.  Feed prices for the week ending June 29 tallied $116.13 versus $113.37 the week before and $101.61 compared with last year.

Packer margins improved by more than $6 on the week, but are still in the red. The per-head loss for the final week of June was $5.81. That compares with $11.88 the week before and $7.34-per-head loss for the same week in 2011, according to Sterling Marketing.

Western Corn Belt negotiated hog prices came in at $101.14 per hundredweight for the week, down nearly $2 on the week, but essentially equal to prices of a year ago.

Sterling Marketing provides the Sterling Pork and Beef Profit Trackers, which are calculated using actual weekly prices for hogs and cattle, feed costs, pork and beef cutout prices, drop credits and other factors that influence profit margins.

The Sterling Pork Profit Tracker for the week ending June 29:

• Average farrow-to-finish margins: $38.67 per head
• Average pork packer margins: -$5.81 per head

Cattle feeding margins dropped nearly $36 per head from the previous week, the Sterling Beef Tracker reports. Feeder margins for the week ending June 30 averaged a loss of $176.22 per head, compared with $140.46 the week before, and $13.60 for the same week a year ago.

Meanwhile, beef packer margins continued to gain ground, with packers reporting a $78.43-per-head profit. That compares with $61.33 per head the week before and a $17.20-per-head-profit the same week in 2011.  

Cash fed cattle prices mirrored the previous week at $116 per hundredweight; last year prices were at $112.41.

The Sterling Beef Profit Tracker for the week ending June 2:

• Average feedyard margins: -$176.22 per head
• Average packer margins: $78.43 per head
• Sterling Profit Quotient: -511.2

The Sterling Pork and Beef Profit Trackers are produced by Sterling Marketing Inc. and John Nalivka, president, Vale, Ore., and are published weekly by Pork Network.