Farrow-to-finish margins topped $100 per head last week and finished the week ending March 21 at $103.60, the highest level in Sterling Pork Profit Tracker history. The previous week, margins were $84.70 per head and just $4 per head at this time last year. Lean hogs climbed higher last week to $125.25, compared to $114.22 the previous week.

Pork packer margins decreased $2.30 per head to $3.66. At this time last month, pork packers were earning $1.95 per head and $6.36 per head at this time last year. The pork cutout value climbed more than $10 to $130.13, compared to $119.86 the previous week.

Cattle feeding margins inched higher last week, finishing the week at $247.11 per head compared to $246.79 the previous week, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker. One number to factor in is $116.79 – that’s how much per head cattle feeders were losing at this time last year. Fed steer prices increased $0.63 per hundredweight, to $151.74, compared to $146.60 one month ago and $124.69 last year at this time. Feeder steers approached $173 per hundredweight, an increase of around $2.15. Feed costs dropped more than $31.14 per head while total costs fell $14.22 per head last week as well.

After topping $77 per head last week, packer margins fell $9.35 to $67.07 per head the week ending March 22. At this time last month, packers were losing $81.72 per head and $19.90 at this time last year. The beef cutout value increased to $240.95 per hundredweight, compared to $239.86 the previous week and $212.59 one month ago.

The Sterling Beef Profit Tracker for the week ending March22:

  • Average feeder margins: $247.11 per head.
  • Average beef packer margins: $67.07 per head.

The Sterling Pork Profit Tracker for the week ending March 21:                                          

  • Average farrow-to-finish margins: $103.60 per head.
  • Average pork packer margins: $3.66 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.