Cattle feeding margins continued gaining ground last week, finishing the week ending September 6 at $222.04, compared to $171.99 the previous week. While last week’s feedlot margins were significantly lower than the $284.85 per head earned one month ago, they are nearly $260 higher than last year at this time when feedlots were losing $37.87 per head.  

Fed cattle were up again last week, increasing from $155.74 per hundredweight and once again topping $160 to $161.31 per hundredweight. Last month at this time, fed cattle were bringing $160.08 while last year at this time they were earning $123 per hundredweight. Feeder steers were steady at $219.28 per hundredweight and remain similar to last month’s $223 per hundredweight. Last year at this time, feeder steers were bringing $151.81 per hundredweight.

Packer margins took another fall last week, decreasing from $81.52 per head to $30.15 per head. While this is lower than last month’s $108.68 per head, packer margins remain significantly higher than last year when packers were earning less than $9 per head. The beef cutout value dropped slightly, from $245.15 per hundredweight to $244.48 per hundredweight last week. Last year at this time, the cutout value stood at $191.97.

Farrow-to-finish margins increased last week to $33.49 per head compared to $28.10 per head the previous week, according to the latest Sterling Profit Tracker data. Last month, margins were $77.80 per head, but last year at this time, farrow-to-finish margins stood at just $5.09 per head. Lean hogs were up more than $3 per hundredweight last week to $97.68, compared to $94.38 per hundredweight. Last month, lean hogs were bringing more than $117.50 per hundredweight, and last year they were earning just shy of $92.

Pork packer margins dropped from $9.47 per head to $4.54 per head. Last month, pork packers were earning $14.10 per head, while they were losing 15 cents at this time last year. The pork cutout value increased slightly last week, to $102.65, compared to $101.67 the previous week.

The Sterling Beef Profit Tracker for the week ending August September 6:

  • Average feeder margins: $222.04 per head
  • Average beef packer margins: $30.15 per head

The Sterling Pork Profit Tracker for the week ending September 5:

  • Average farrow-to-finish margins: $33.49 per head.
  • Average pork packer margins: $4.54 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.