Negotiated cash fed cattle prices for the week, through Wednesday afternoon, were $1-$3 less than the previous week on a live basis and $2-$3 lower in the beef, according to data from the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Live prices were $1 lower than the previous day and $2 less than the previous week in the Texas Panhandle at $110/cwt. Prices in Kansas were $1-$3 lower at $109-$111. Live prices in Nebraska the previous day were at $109-$111, which was steady to $1 lower than the previous week; dressed trade was $2-$3 lower at $173-$174. Live prices were $3 lower in Colorado at $109. Live prices in the western Corn Belt on Tuesday were at $108-$109, which was $1-$2 lower than the previous week; dressed trade was $3 lower at $174-$177.
Feeder Cattle futures mostly edged higher Wednesday, with Feeder Cattle recovering some of the previous session’s steep losses. Higher wholesale beef values also helped Live Cattle to firm after the front months.
Live Cattle futures closed mainly narrowly mixed but mostly higher, from an average of 22¢ lower in the front two contracts to an average of 35¢ higher.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 61¢ higher.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.86 higher Wednesday afternoon at $211.00/cwt. Select was 97¢ higher at $199.06.
Corn futures closed 7¢ to 8¢ higher through the front three contracts, and then mostly 3¢ to 4¢ lower.
Soybean futures closed 6¢ to 12¢ lower through Sep ‘21, and then mostly 1¢ to 4¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed narrowly mixed Wednesday amid news including the rise in COVID-19 cases and the political fiasco in the nation’s capitol.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 8 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 8 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 56 points.
Last year, the U.S. restaurant industry experienced its steepest decline since the Great Depression , according to the NPD Group (NPD). But, restaurant transactions continued to show improvement in December.
Customer transaction declines at major restaurant chains in December were down 10% compared to the same period a year ago. That was a 27-point improvement from April, the height of the shelter-at-home and restaurant dine-in closure mandates, when transactions declined by 37% from a year earlier, according to NPD’s CREST®Performance Alerts.
Full service restaurant chains, which primarily rely on dine-in customers and had few if any off-premises services when the dine-in restrictions went into effect, bore the brunt of the transaction declines throughout the pandemic. In April, the segment’s customer transactions declined by 70% year over year; transactions improved to 30% less year over year in December.
Many full service restaurant chains quickly pivoted to offer more off-premises services by turning parking lots into drive-thru stations, offering curbside pick-up, and enhancing delivery options. For full service restaurants now, it’s about government restrictions. In more restrictive states, full service restaurant chain transactions are down 60% to 70%. In less restrictive states, there isn’t as much of a gap between quick service and full service restaurants.
Major quick service restaurant chains, which represent the bulk of restaurant industry transactions, learned to expand their already high capacity for off-premises volumes. The chains’ carry-out, drive-thru, and delivery orders soared throughout the pandemic as consumers looked for relief from preparing most of their meals at home. At their ebb in April, quick service customer transaction declines were 35% less year over year. They quickly improved as shelter-at-home orders were lifted. In December, quick service restaurant chain customer transaction declines were down 8% versus the same month a year earlier.
“The struggles of the restaurant industry are well documented and we acknowledge that some operators have not survived the pandemic,” says David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor. “But history has shown that consumers will always value the convenience, quality, and experience of restaurant meals, and the operators that deliver against these expectations have proven it’s a winning formula in good or bad times. Our industry is resilient and consumer demand for restaurants remains strong.”