Negotiated cash fed cattle trade got off to a sluggish start for the week on Thursday with a few live trades in the Southern Plains steady with last week at $106/cwt. There were a few live trades in Nebraska at $103. However, there were too few transactions to trend in any region, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
The average dressed steer weight for the week ending Oct. 17 was 929 lbs., which was 1 lb. heavier than the prior week and 29 lbs. heavier than the previous year, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight of 850 lbs. was 4 lbs. heavier than the prior week and 19 lbs. heavier than the previous year.
Cattle futures continued higher Thursday, with the outlook for seasonally higher cash prices, as well as technical support.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.64 higher, from 42¢ higher in almost spent spot Oct. to $3.30 higher.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.32 higher, from 27¢ higher at the back to $1.82 higher toward the front.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.53 higher Thursday afternoon at $207.32/cwt. Select was $1.65 higher at $191.23.
Net U.S. beef export sales for 2020 totaled 18,900 metric tons for the week ending Oct. 22, according to the weekly U.S. Export Sales report from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. That was 13% less than the previous week and 6% less than the prior four-week average. Increases were primarily for China, Japan, South Korea, Mexico and Taiwan.
Nearby Corn and Soybean futures contracts softened a bit more, while the remainder of the board firmed after the previous session’s steep selloff.
Corn futures closed 1¢ to 3¢ lower through Jly ’21 and then mostly fractionally higher to 1¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 5¢ lower through Mar ’21 and then mainly fractionally mixed.
Major U.S. financial indices rebounded Thursday from the previous session’s selloff, buoyed by positive economic news.
Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 33.1% in the third quarter, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. It decreased 31.4% in the second quarter.
As well, weekly initial unemployment insurance claims of 751,000 were 40,000 fewer than the prior week, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. That was more positive than the trade expected.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 139 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 39 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 180 points.
Each year, for more than three decades, the NPD Group publishes the Eating Patterns in America report—top-line trends based on a year’s worth of data from its daily tracking. As you’d expect, the pandemic shoved this year’s numbers and trends around.
“With mandated shelter-at-home and restaurant dine-in restrictions across most of the country during the pandemic, we have had few options other than to prepare most of our meals at home,” says David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America. “Working from home, schooling at home, and preparing more meals means more of our meal times are a departure from the norm, with most consumers describing their meals as atypical.”
Examples of how America’s eating patterns changed as a result of the pandemic include:
For several years, 80% of meals have been sourced from home and 20% from restaurants and other foodservice outlets. During the pandemic, the gap widened to as much as 87% of meals sourced from home.
The use of online and digital orders for groceries and restaurant foods leapt years ahead in their growth trend trajectory. By May 2020, 40% of shoppers ordered edible groceries online compared to 28% a year earlier. Consumers more than tripled their share of restaurant meals ordered digitally during the April-May-June 2020 quarter. Digital restaurant carryout made up the larger share of restaurant digital orders.
Visits to full service restaurants, which are primarily on-premises operations, declined nearly 80% during the height of the mandated dine-in closures. Quick service restaurants, already set up for drive-thru, carryout, and delivery, realized double-digit declines as well but not as steep as full service restaurants.
“What a year it will be moving forward as we evolve our perspective and the effects of a global pandemic that has caused such tumultuous change,” Portalatin says. “It is my profound hope that next year when we’re compiling the 36th annual Eating Patterns in America, we’re telling the story of recovery.”