Cattle futures continued to edge lower Wednesday, pressured by an uptick in Corn futures and steady to lower cash fed cattle prices.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 32¢ lower.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 35¢ lower, except for an average of 8¢ higher in two contracts.
Grain futures firmed overnight and through yesterday’s session as traders added some risk premium based on recent Russian attacks in Ukraine
Corn futures closed mostly 3¢ to 6¢ higher.
KC HRW Wheat closed mostly 4¢ to 5¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed mostly 11¢ to 18¢ higher.
Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was mainly limited on light to moderate demand through Wednesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
So far this week, FOB live prices are $1 lower in the Southern Plains at $179/cwt. and steady in the western Corn Belt at $188.
Last week, FOB live prices in Nebraska were $188. Dressed prices were $295.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.73 higher Wednesday afternoon at $308.99/cwt. Select was $1.74 higher at $284.77/cwt.
Major U.S. financial indices closed lower again Wednesday, apparently pressured mostly by minutes from the last Federal Reserve meeting, which indicated future interest rate increases were as likely as not.
“With inflation still well above the Committee’s longer-run goal and the labor market remaining tight, most participants continued to see significant upside risks to inflation, which could require further tightening of monetary policy,” according to the minutes. “… “Participants noted the recent reduction in total and core inflation rates. However, they stressed that inflation remained unacceptably high and that further evidence would be required for them to be confident that inflation was clearly on a path toward the Committee’s 2% objective.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 180 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 33 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 156 points.
West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures (CME) closed 98¢ to $1.61 lower through the front six contracts.
The market for plant-based meats has likely reached a tipping point as the initial period of exceptional sales growth appears to be over, according to a new report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange.
“Whatever their reason for purchase, plant-based offerings appear to have fallen short of consumers’ expectations in terms of either cost or performance,” says Billy Roberts, senior food and beverage economist for CoBank. “Market participants should be able to address the cost issues with greater economies of scale and minimized supply chain expenses. However, innovation around taste, texture and mouthfeel will be essential to capture more mass-market consumers.”
For added perspective, the price per share for Beyond Meat, Inc. — the poster child for plant-based fake meat—was trading at $12.28 noon yesterday. It was $35.83 a year earlier and $117.35 two years earlier.
Plant-based meat sales peaked in 2020 when consumers had more discretionary income and were curious about broadening their food spend in the wake of pandemic-era food shortages, according to CoBank. But fewer than half of Americans who tried the products at the time repeated their purchase, per data from consumer research firm Mintel.
Sales of meat alternatives have fallen steadily since 2021 and more sharply over the last year. Volume sales dropped 20.9% for the 52-week period ending July 2, 2023, according to consumer behavior research firm Circana.
Consumers have consistently cited health as a top reason for purchasing plant-based offerings. However, according to the CoBank report, shoppers who initially sought plant-based meats thinking these were healthier options would later voice doubts about the healthfulness of the products, specifically as it relates to their typically complex ingredient legend.