Pork producer profit margins for farrow-to-finish systems averaged $27.68 per head for the week ending July 13. That’s down $7.74 per head from the previous week. However, it’s still $7.10 per head higher than for the same period in 2011.

According to Sterling Marketing, total costs are $181.18 for pigs placed into the finisher last week, compared to a year ago at $173.56. Feed costs at $124.37 for the week compare to last year’s cost at $116.82.

This summer’s extreme and widespread heat is impacting grilling, as retailers haven’t gotten much traction in the segment. However, bacon and bellies have held strong. Meanwhile, the heat also has dropped slaughter hog weights, which are down from year-ago levels. That trend is expected to continue given the hot temperatures and high feed prices.  

Packer margins recovered a bit last week, reporting a $14.46-per-head loss for the week ending July 13. That is a $5.48-per-head gain from average losses of $19.94 the previous week. Last year, the same week produced an $8.20-per-head profit.

Western Corn Belt negotiated hog prices retreated to $96.65 per hundredweight for the week. The previous week had prices at $101.30 per hundredweight and a year ago, prices were $93.78.

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

The Sterling Pork Profit Tracker for the week ending July 13:

  • Average farrow-to-finish margins: $27.68 per head
  • Average pork packer margins: -$14.46 per head

Cattle feeding margins continued their free-fall, with losses dropping to $243.06 per head for the week ending July 14. Losses were $181.29 per head the week before and $44.35 for the same period in 2011, according to the Sterling Beef Tracker.

Beef packers margins continued to slip as well. For the mid-July week packer margins registered a $13.10-per-head profit, but that compares with the previous week at $50.78 per head. A year ago, margins were $21.47 per head.  

Cash fed cattle prices slipped $2.21 per hundredweight to $114.70. That compares to $116.91 per hundredweight; last year’s price was $110.85.

The Sterling Beef Profit Tracker for the week ending July 14:

  • Average feedyard margins: -$243.06 per head
  • Average packer margins: $13.10 per head
  • Sterling Profit Quotient: -729.6

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