Pork producer margins improved 68 cents per head last week, and farrow-to-finish margins remain solidly profitable. Pork packer margins declined more than $4 per head, according to the Sterling Pork Profit Tracker from Sterling Marketing, Inc., Vale, Ore.

Here’s a look at The Sterling Pork Profit Tracker for the week ending Feb. 25:

  • Average farrow-to-finish margins: $15.78 per head.
  • Average pork packer margins: -$6.46 per head versus $15.08 a year ago.

Western Corn Belt negotiated lean-hog prices were $88.17 per hundredweight. Last year cash hogs brought $83.45 per hundredweight, resulting in an average per-head profit of $18.51. Costs are running slightly below 2011 levels.

Cattle feeders’ profit margins move above $100 per head last week as cash fed cattle prices gained $4 per hundredweight. Packer margins improved slightly, but remain well below breakeven, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker. The Sterling Beef Profit Quotient improved 88 points for the week.

Cash fed cattle traded at $128.97 per hundredweight last week. A year ago cattle feeders sold cash cattle at $110.83 per hundredweight which resulted in $165.55 per-head profit.

The Sterling Beef Profit Tracker for the week ending February 25:

  • Average feedyard margins: $101.25 per head.
  • Average packer margins: -$79.65 per head.
  • Sterling Profit Quotient: -$64.59

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. They are calculated using actual weekly prices for both cattle and hogs, feed costs, beef and pork cutout prices, drop credits and other factors that influence profit margins.