Volatile and bearish outside markets weighed on most commodities Friday as shorter supplies battle with demand concerns stemming from steamy inflation, higher interest rates and slowing economic growth.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 79¢ lower (25¢ lower at the back to $1.32 lower toward the front).
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 62¢ lower, except for 50¢ higher in spot Oct.
Corn futures closed mostly 5¢ to 8¢ lower.
Soybean futures closed mostly 8¢ to 12¢ lower.
Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from limited on light demand to a standstill through Friday afternoon with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
For the week, live prices were $1 higher in the Southern Plains at $145/cwt., steady to $2 higher in Nebraska at $148 and unevenly steady in the western Corn Belt at $148. Dressed prices were $2 higher at $232.
Choice Boxed beef cutout value was 45¢ higher Friday afternoon at $246.98/cwt. Select was $1.08 higher at $216.94/cwt.
Total estimated cattle slaughter last week of 660,000 head was 4,000 head fewer than the previous week but 21,000 head more than the same week last year. Total estimated year-to-date cattle slaughter of 26.7 million head was 417,000 head more (+1.6%) than the same time last year. Total estimated year-to-date beef production of 22.0 billion lbs. was 306.9 million lbs. more (+1.4%).
Major U.S. financial indices on Friday gave back much of what was gained in the previous session as the focus returned to current and expected inflation.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 403 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 86 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 327 points.
West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures (CME) closed $2.68 to $3.50 lower though the front six contracts.
Kroger and Albertsons Companies — two of the nation’s top-10 grocery retailers — announced a definitive merger agreement last week. Depending on which list of top grocers in the U.S. by sales you look at, the merger would place the new entity ahead of Costco and in a head-to-head battle with Amazon, while still trailing Walmart by a long way.
Together, Albertsons Cos. and Kroger currently employ more than 710,000 associates and operate a total of 4,996 stores, 66 distribution centers, 52 manufacturing plants, 3,972 pharmacies and 2,015 fuel centers, according to joint new release.
“We are bringing together two purpose-driven organizations to deliver superior value to customers, associates, communities and shareholders,” says Rodney McMullen, Kroger Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, who will continue serving as Chairman and CEO of the combined company. “Albertsons Cos. brings a complementary footprint and operates in several parts of the country with very few or no Kroger stores. This merger advances our commitment to build a more equitable and sustainable food system by expanding our footprint into new geographies to serve more of America with fresh and affordable food and accelerates our position as a more compelling alternative to larger and non-union competitors…”
“We have been on a transformational journey to evolve Albertsons Cos. into a modern and efficient omnichannel food and drug retailer focused on building deep and lasting relationships with our customers and communities. I am proud of what our 290,000 associates have accomplished, delivering top-tier performance while furthering our purpose to bring people together around the joys of food and to inspire well-being. Today’s announcement is a testament to their success,” says Vivek Sankaran, CEO of Albertsons Cos.
In connection with obtaining the requisite regulatory clearance necessary to consummate the transaction, Kroger and Albertsons Cos. expect to make store divestitures.