Negotiated cash fed cattle trade for the week was mainly $3 higher through Friday afternoon at $103/cwt. on a live basis and at $163 in the beef.
Through Thursday, the five-area direct weighted average steer price was $101.28 on a live basis, which was $2.79 higher than the previous week. The average dressed steer price was $163.19, which was $3.17 higher than the prior week. Compared to the same time last year, though, those prices were $12.83 less and $19.38 less, respectively.
Cattle futures edged lower on Friday, entrenched in the long-worn sideways channel, and with some likely profit taking.
Except for 17¢ higher in spot Aug, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 51¢ lower (7¢ to 87¢ lower).
Except for 22¢ and 7¢ higher in two away contracts, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 37¢ lower.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 81¢ higher Friday afternoon at $205.47/cwt. Select was 74¢ higher at $192.75.
Corn futures closed mostly 2¢ lower.
Soybean futures closed mostly 9¢ to 10¢ lower.
Major U.S. financial indices closed mainly sideways on Friday as investors weighed the impasse over additional federal coronavirus aid against stouter employment numbers than expected.
Total non-farm employment increased 1.8 million month-to-month in July and the national unemployment rate declined 0.9% to 10.2%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Average hourly earnings for all employees on private non-farm payrolls rose by 7¢ to $29.39.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 46 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 2 points higher. The NASDAQ closed 97 points lower.
Recently expired COVID-19 unemployment benefits could hamstring the struggling recovery in the U.S. restaurant sector, according to the NPD Group (NPD).
“Up until July 31, somewhere between 25 and 30 million Americans were receiving Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation as part of the federal government’s CARES Act, which has provided $600 a week of enhanced unemployment benefits,” explains David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor. “These unemployment benefits translated to between $15-$18 billion per week being put into consumers’ bank accounts, and for context, total restaurant industry sales right now are a bit less than $8 billion per week.”
For the week ending July 26, U.S. major restaurant chain customer transactions were down 11%, compared to a year earlier, but 1% more positive than the previous week, according to NPD’s CREST®Performance Alerts.
Customer transactions at major quick service restaurant chains were even with the prior week and down 11% year over year. Full service restaurants chain transactions were 24% less than the same week last year, but improved 3% week to week.
The NPD folks note that full service restaurants were still recovering from the Great Recession, which ended more than 10 years ago, when the COVID pandemic prompted shelter-at-home orders and mandated dine-in closures. Along the way, consumers began leaning more toward quick service restaurants, too.
“Long before COVID, consumers were already favoring quick service restaurants and off-premises dining, and this trend has accelerated during the pandemic and will most likely be a behavior that will stick,” Portalatin says. “For full service restaurants it will mean more flexible operations, delivering on the on-premises experience and optimizing off-premises services. I see this as a sea change for the U.S. restaurant industry.”