Pork producer margins declined 41 cents per head last week, but farrow-to-finish margins remain solidly profitable, according to the Sterling Pork Profit Tracker. For the week ending March 3, Western Corn Belt negotiated hog prices were $87.81 per hundredweight, with farrow-to-finish profit margins averaging  $15.37 per hog. Feed costs crept up a bit to $109.24.

A year ago, the cash hog price was $83.03 per hundredweight, but per-head profits averaged $15.74, due to higher costs.

For the week, pork packer margins declined 22 cents per head, resulting in losses of more than $6.50 per hog, according to the Sterling Pork Profit Tracker. A year ago, packer margins were $15.63 per head.

You can access more details from Sterling Pork Profit Tracker for the week ending March 3:

  • Average farrow-to-finish margins:  $15.37 per head.
  • Average pork packer margins:   -$6.68 per head.

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

For cattle feeders, profit margins continued to improve last week as cash fed-cattle prices gained $1 per hundredweight. Average profits exceeded $110 per head, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker. Packer margins also improved as the beef cutout value increased $3 per hundredweight on the week, for a gain of more than $20 per head. Still, losses exceed $40 for every animal processed.

The Sterling Beef Profit Quotient improved 42 points for the week.

A year ago cattle feeders sold cash cattle at $112.53 per hundredweight, which resulted in profits of $184.99 per head.

The Sterling Beef Profit Tracker for the week ending March 3:

  • Average feedyard margins: $113.09 per head.
  • Average packer margins:   -$42.22 per head.
  • Sterling Profit Quotient: 330.2.

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