Strong cash demand continued to bolster Feeder Cattle futures, Wednesday, helping Live Cattle to continue edging higher.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.17 higher. Live Cattle futures closed an average of 30¢ higher, except for unchanged in one contract.
Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was moderate in the Southern Plains and Nebraska through Wednesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Live prices were steady in the Southern Plains at $137/cwt. and steady to $4 lower in Nebraska at $144-$145, where dressed prices were $2 lower at $230.
Trade was limited on light demand in the western Corn Belt with too few transactions to trend. Last week, live prices were $145-$150 on a live basis and $232 in the beef.
Choice Boxed beef cutout value was 46¢ lower through Wednesday afternoon at $268.05/cwt. Select was 91¢ lower at $241.26/cwt.
Grain markets firmed Wednesday as traders retrenched following recent steep losses.
Corn futures closed mostly 7¢ to 8¢ higher. Soybean futures closed mostly 6¢ to 12¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed lower Wednesday, pressured by higher inflation than the trade expected in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). It increased 1.3% month to month in June and was 9.1% higher over the last 12 months before seasonal adjustment. That was the largest 12-month increase since the period ending Nov. 1981.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 208 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 17 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 17 points.
West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures on the CME closed 46¢ to 97¢ higher through the front six contracts.
Despite sizzling hype the last few years surrounding plant-based alternatives to real meat, investor interest appears to be fizzling.
Consider that the share price for Beyond Meat® — the publicly traded posterchild for alternative meat protein — was about $30.62 on Wednesday. A year earlier, it was approximately 76% more at $127.92.
According to the company’s financial results for the first quarter, net revenues increased 1.2% year over year to $109.5 million and the total volume of products sold increased 12.4%. But, net loss was $100.5 million compared to $27.3 million in the first quarter last year. That was before a couple of recent lawsuits filed against the company, alleging the company’s products contain significantly less protein than advertised and are not all-natural as claimed.
Elsewhere, in its first-quarter financials, Maple Leaf Foods — Canada’s largest prepared meats and poultry producer — told investors it no longer expects spectacular growth in its alternative meat category, but does anticipate slower, steadier growth.
According to data from the Good Food Institute and data company, SPINS, sales of plant-based meat alternatives in the United States last year total $1.4 billion, the same as a year earlier.
Perhaps the most logical conclusion is that minor consumer interest will continue for alternatives, but the gleam for investors has faded amid increasing competition within the category, alongside the lack of explosive sales growth and underwhelming profit potential. In other words, the alternative may not be going anywhere, but then again, it appears they really aren’t going to go anywhere.