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Feeding margins improve on improvements in cash market

Higher prices for fed cattle last week helped cattle feeding margins improve. After losing more than $212 per head two weeks ago, margins, though still in the red, improved more than $40 per head to negative $171.82.

The 5-Area direct price increased nearly $2.20 per hundredweight last week and averaged $163.45. While prices have come down from highs late last year, cash prices are more than $11 per hundredweight higher than they were in late March 2014. Feeder cattle prices were down last week, falling to $207.07 per hundredweight for 750 to 800 pound placements. Feeder steer prices account for more than 81 percent of the relative feeding cost against current week marketings, according to Sterling Marketing, Inc. Last week’s breakeven prices were down for both placements and marketings, with placement breakevens projected at $157.32 per hundredweight and marketing breakevens calculated at $176.67 per hundredweight.

Beef packer margins continued to erode last week, falling to negative $47.82 per head, compared to negative $33.45 per head the previous week. The beef cutout value was $245.86, compared to $246.86 the previous week.

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Monday Market Sentiment: $163.85
Last Week’s Trade: $163.63
Change: +0.22


This Week’s Winner:
Joe Kovanda, Bartlett Cattle

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