Farrow-to-finish margins pushed higher last week, reaching $60.84 per head the week ending September 26, according to the Sterling Pork Profit Tracker. Last year at this time, margins were just $4.57 per head.

Lean hogs were up again last week, finishing the week at $109.43 per hundredweight, compared to $106.46 the previous week. Last month, lean hogs were bringing $94.38 and last year at this time they were earning $94.54.

Pork packer margins also improved, reaching $15.80 last week compared to $4.48 the previous week. The pork cutout value finished the week at $117.48 per hundredweight, compared to $111.48 the previous week.

Cattle feeders took another hit last week, with profit margins falling more than $93 in the last two weeks. According to the Sterling Profit Tracker, feedlot margins finished the week ending September 27 at $138.32 per head, compared to $186.37 the previous week. Feeders were taking home $171.99 per head last month and $76.48 per head at this time last year.

Fed cattle were mostly steady last week, dropping just 6 cents to $157.51 per hundredweight. Feeders placed last week averaged $232.53 per hundredweight, up from $226.88 the previous week and $159.81 at this time last year. The breakeven price for last week’s feedlot placements was $170.23, up from $167 the previous week and $129 at this time last year.

Packer margins were also lower last week. Packers lost an average of $39.40 per head the last week of September. At this time last month, packer margins were nearly $80 per head, but at this time last year, packers were losing an average of $41.72. The beef cutout value dropped more than $6 per hundredweight to $236.51 last week.

The Sterling Beef Profit Tracker for the week ending September 27:

  • Average feeder margins: $138.32 per head
  • Average beef packer margins: -$39.40 per head

The Sterling Pork Profit Tracker for the week ending September 26:

  • Average farrow-to-finish margins: $60.84 per head.
  • Average pork packer margins: $15.80 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.