Negotiated cash fed cattle trade picked up steam Wednesday in both volume and price. Live sales were steady to $10 higher at $120/cwt. in the Southern Plains and mainly $120 in Nebraska. Dressed sales were steady to $10 higher at mostly $180-$190 in Nebraska and at mostly $190 in the western Corn Belt.
Cattle feeders offered 2,782 head in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction, but there were no sales.
Cattle futures ended lower, though, amid recently declining wholesale beef values and perhaps with some positioning ahead of the long weekend and Friday’s monthly Cattle on Feed report.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.20 lower (37¢ lower in spot Jun to $1.50 lower).
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.42 lower ($1.42 lower in spot May to $2.92 lower).
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $5.43 lower Wednesday afternoon at $404.04/cwt. Select was $2.31 higher at $391.18.
After 1¢ lower in the front two contracts, Corn futures closed mostly fractionally higher.
Soybean futures closed mostly 3¢ to 4¢ higher through Aug ’21 and then mostly 1¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed higher Wednesday, led by tech stocks, the recent resurgence in oil prices and, apparently, optimism as more states continues to ease COVID-19 restrictions.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 369 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 48 points higher. The NASDAQ closed 190 points higher.
U.S. restaurant chain transaction declines continued to improve for the fourth consecutive week (ending May 10) amid Mother’ Day and more states reopening.
Large chain restaurant customer transactions were down 23% compared to a year ago, improving from a 26% decline the prior week, according to The NPD Group (NPD). Large full service restaurant chain transactions were 39% more than the previous week, but still 58% less than a year earlier. Transactions at large quick service chain restaurants were 21% less than a year earlier; they were down 24% the previous week, according to NPD’s CREST® Performance Alerts.
As well, NPD’s ReCount® restaurant census estimates 19 states allowed some level of on-premise dining the week ending May 10. Some of these states never imposed restrictions, while some reopened in the past couple of weeks.
Tennessee and Texas are among the largest states for restaurant unit counts that lifted restrictions to on-premise dining in recent weeks. Customer transactions improved by 7 percentage points week to week in both states for the week ending May 10. Tennessee restaurant transactions are down 14% and Texas is down 18% compared to year ago.
“Permanent restaurant closures, economically distressed consumers, and the possibility of a second wave of virus cases still bring uncertainty; but at least for now, the recent run of weekly gains is encouraging,” says David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America. “The road back will be challenging and slow, but we’re headed in the right direction.”