Negotiated cash fed cattle trade continued steady to unevenly steady Wednesday across a broad range: $120/cwt. in the Southern Plains and mostly $115 on a live basis in the western Corn Belt, but lower in Nebraska at $114-$115. Dressed sales so far this week are at $178-$190.
Cattle feeders consigned 1,164 head to Wednesday’s weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction–all from the Southern Plains. None sold.
Slaughter steers and heifers sold unevenly steady at Sioux Falls Regional in South Dakota, where 262 head of Choice 2-3 steers weighing an average of 1,411 lbs. sold for an average of $110.40/cwt.
Cattle futures closed higher Wednesday, maintaining strong gains from the previous session.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 70¢ higher (10¢ higher to $1.47 higher toward the front of the board). Spot June closed at $100.80, the highest level since the first part of March.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 66¢ higher.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $7.72 lower Wednesday afternoon at $377.77/cwt. Select was $9.82 lower at $350.20.
Corn futures closed fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 2¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed higher again Wednesday. Optimism included the fact that all 50 states are now open for business, to varying degrees.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 553 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 44 points higher. The NASDAQ closed 72 points higher.
Customer transactions at major U.S. restaurant chains continued to improve slightly for the fifth consecutive week, according to the NPD Group.
Specifically, restaurant customer transactions for the week ending May 17 were 21% less than a year earlier, compared to a decline of 23% the previous week.
Transactions at major quick service chain restaurants, which represent the majority of restaurant transactions, improved by 1% week to week, to a decline of 21%, according to NPD’s CREST®Performance Alerts.
Restaurant transactions at major full service chains were 49% less than a year earlier, which was 9% more positive than the previous week. The NPD folks say the lifting of COVID restrictions the previous week added 93,000 restaurant units, which helped bolster transaction improvement.
Transactions at full service restaurants in states where on-premise dining was permitted to reopen as of May 10 improved 13 percentage points in the week ending May 17, down 33% year over year, compared to a decline of 46% the prior week.
“The reopening of restaurant dine-in services across the country will certainly continue to help drive improvements, but it’s important to keep in mind that restaurant on-premise dining operations are not serving to full capacity because of safety protocols,” says David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor. “Equally important to the industry’s recovery is the consumer’s comfort level with dining in at a restaurant now.”
As for dining at home, according to NPD’s NET®COVID-19 Pantry & Food Strategy Tracker, consumers reported that 63% of their eating occasions during the COVID-19 outbreak have been atypical, meaning they’re eating foods and beverages that are different from their normal routines.