According to the Beef Profit Tracker, average cattle feeding margins exceeded $206/head the last week of March, $28/head higher than the previous week and $56/head higher than last year. Beef packer margins for the same week were estimated at $285/head, up $12/head from the previous week and down $203 from a year ago.

Estimations, calculated by Sterling Marketing in Vale, Oregon, were based on 5-area fed cattle prices of $140/cwt. Cow slaughter is up, as well, as fed cattle plant capacity utilization comes in at 85% compared to 84.6% a year ago. Meanwhile, pork profits finished $8 lower the same week at $72/head. Pork packers saw an average loss of $15/head, an improvement of $4/head the previous week.

Read more on cattle feeding margins and packer profits here.