Cattle futures gained Wednesday, helped along by a bounce higher in wholesale beef values.
Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $3.39 higher Wednesday afternoon at $268.05/cwt. Select was $3.06 higher at $242.93.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.17 higher (60¢ higher in spot Aug to $1.32 higher at the back).
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 96¢ higher ($1.57 higher in spot Aug to 12¢ higher at the back).
Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from mostly inactive on light demand to a standstill through Wednesday afternoon with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Last week, live prices were $137-138/cwt. in the Southern Plains, $145 in Colorado, $145-$151 in Nebraska and $147-$150 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were $234.
Grain and Soybean futures firmed Wednesday as traders re-trenched after recent steep losses.
Corn futures closed 5¢ to 7¢ higher through new-crop contracts and then 2¢ to 5¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed 4¢ to 7¢ higher through Jan ‘23 and then mostly fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices eased higher Wednesday as some investors were apparently cheered by comments in the latest Federal Reserve minutes reaffirming commitment to containing inflation.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 69 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 13 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 39 points.
West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures on the CME closed 97¢ to $1.59 lower through the front six contracts.
Willingness to pay (WTP) decreased for five evaluated retail products in June compared to the previous month, according to the latest Meat Demand Monitor from Kansas State University, funded in part by the beef checkoff. WTP declined 23¢ for ribeye steak to $17.42/lb. and 26¢ for ground beef to $8.78/lb. WTP also declined 25¢ for pork chop to $7.09/lb., 7¢ for chicken breast to $8.29/lb., 45¢ for shrimp to $9.16/lb. and 17¢ for beans and rice to $2.93/lb.
“Meanwhile, WTP decreased for seven evaluated Food Service meals,” according to the report. “Combined this broadly confirms weakening consumer demand consistent with increased general discussion around consumers being more conservative in their spending.”
Even so, in ad hoc questioning, when questioned about their response to higher retail meat prices, 31% of respondents (the most common response) said they were not making any changes in purchasing.
“Among those indicating changes, the most prevalent noted adjustment remains reducing the volume of items purchased while being steadfast in product type (brand, cut, and package size),” according to the report.
The Meat Demand Monitor tracks U.S. consumer preferences, views, and demand for meat with separate analysis for retail and food service channels. It is a monthly online survey with a sample of over 2,000 respondents reflecting the national population.