Farrow-to-finish margins improved nearly $5 per head the week of May 9, finishing the week at $80.60 per head. This is down more than $20 from a month ago when margins topped $100 per head. Lean hogs were up slightly at $113.88 per hundredweight last week, compared to $113.53 per hundredweight the week of May 2.

Pork packer margins dropped last week to negative $3.44 per head, compared to negative $2.65 the previous week. The pork cutout value was even at $115.41.

It was another strong week for cattle feeding margins. According to the latest data from the Sterling Profit Tracker, feeder margins topped $216 per head the week of May 10, compared to just shy of $200 per head the previous week. Last year at this time, cattle feeders were losing nearly $104 per head.

Fed cattle were slightly higher last week at $148.78 per hundredweight, compared to $148.36 the previous week. After topping $150 per hundredweight earlier this spring, fed cattle have fallen off slightly in the past month. One year ago, however, fed cattle averaged $126 per hundredweight. Feeder steers were up more than $2 to $180.56 per hundredweight. Both feed and total costs were up last week, with feed costs reaching $383.19 per head and total costs hitting $1,911.98.

Packers continue to experience volatility as margins dropped from $17.13 the week of May 3 to negative $47.49 last week. A month ago, packers were losing more than $63.00 per head but a year ago margins were $15.45 per head. The beef cutout value was down nearly $6 per hundredweight to $223.25.

The Sterling Beef Profit Tracker for the week ending May 10:

  • Average feeder margins: $216.03 per head.
  • Average beef packer margins: -$47.49 per head.

The Sterling Pork Profit Tracker for the week ending May 9:                                          

  • Average farrow-to-finish margins: $80.60 per head.
  • Average pork packer margins: -$3.44 per head.

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