Pork packer margins are back in the black

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Farrow-to-finish margins were slightly up by $1 per head last week, hitting $111.27 the week ending July 18, according to the Sterling Pork Profit Tracker. The increase is significantly up from the $91.24 price per head a month ago and $15.55 price this time a year ago. The $132.14 price for lean hogs remains consistent with the previous week’s $132.62.

Pork packer margins are back in the black at $3.11 per head, after dipping to negative $0.52 in the previous week. Last month, pork packers were making $3.87 per head and losing $6.88 this time last year. The pork cutout value continues to increase, reaching $136.11 this week compared to the previous $134.86.

Feedlot margins took a $22 hit last week, finishing at $280.55 for the week ending on July 19, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker’s latest report. While the hit may seem steep, feedlot margins are still well over $80 from this time a month ago when feeders were bringing $194.24 per head and losing $123.94 a year ago.

Fed cattle prices are up to $156.26 this week, slightly increasing $0.24 per hundredweight from the previous week’s $1.73 drop. Compared to the $119.00 market price a year ago, fed cattle are bringing more than $37 per hundredweight more. After rallying to $217.32 in the previous week, feeder steers have dropped to $213.46 per hundredweight. The ending price is more than $6 per hundredweight higher than a month ago and $66 more than this time last year. Fed cattle saw a breakeven price of $160.65, down from the $164.37 price in the previous week.

Packer margins saw more modest gains last week, hitting $67.25 per head, compared to $52.35 in the previous week. Beef cutout value remained consistent to the previous week, with the $248.57 price just up a few cents from the previous week, but earning more than the $236.46 market price last month and the $188.25 price this time a year ago.

The Sterling Beef Profit Tracker for the week ending July 19:

  • Average feeder margins: $280.55 per head
  • Average beef packer margins: $67.25 per head

The Sterling Pork Profit Tracker for the week ending July 11:

  • Average farrow-to-finish margins: $111.27 per head.
  • Average pork packer margins: $3.11 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.

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