Negotiated cash fed cattle prices edged higher Wednesday amid light trade. Although there were too few transactions to trend in any region, there were some live trades $1 higher in the Southern Plains at $111/cwt., some at steady money in Nebraska at $110 and a few $2-$6 higher in the western Corn Belt at $112. There were also a few dressed sales $4 higher in Nebraska at $176.
Cattle feeders offered 1,015 head (six lots) in the Central Stockyards weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction Wednesday. One lot of heifers—194 head—from the Southern Plains sold for a weighted average price of $111/cwt. on a live basis.
Cattle futures closed mostly lower Wednesday, especially Feeder Cattle, as grain futures continued surging higher.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 19¢ lower, except for 7¢ and 27¢ higher at either end of the board.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.14 lower.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 23¢ higher Wednesday afternoon at $210.53/cwt. Select was $4.38 higher at $199.86.
Corn futures closed 5¢ to 8¢ higher through Sep ‘21 and then mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed mostly 5¢ to 7¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices edged higher Wednesday with some support from a third COVID-19 vaccine approved for emergency use in the United Kingdom.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 73 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 5 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 19 points.
Economic destruction continues across the restaurant sector and will likely get worse before it improves, according to a recent survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association (NRA).
“What these findings make clear is that more than 500,000 restaurants of every business type—franchise, chain, and independent—are in an economic free fall. And for every month that passes without a solution from Congress, thousands more restaurants will close their doors for good.” That’s from the letter penned by Sean Kennedy, NRA executive vice president for Public Affairs. It was sent to Congress earlier this month, explaining the dire need for more government assistance to restaurants, which are the nation’s second largest private sector employer.
The NRA Research Group surveyed 6,000 restaurant operators and 250 supply chain businesses Nov. 17-30, 2020.
Among the stark survey findings:
**87% of full-service restaurants (independent, chain, and franchise) reported an average 36% drop in sales revenue. “For an industry with an average profit margin of 5%-6%, this is simply unsustainable,” Kennedy explained.
**83% of full-service operators expect sales to be even worse over the next three months.
**59% of operators say their total labor costs (as a percentage of sales) are higher than they were pre-pandemic.
**58% of chain and independent full-service operators expect continued furloughs and layoffs for at least the next three months.
**17% of restaurants—more than 110,000 establishments—were closed permanently or long-term.
“The vast majority of permanently closed restaurants were well-established businesses, and fixtures in their communities. On average these restaurants had been in business for 16 years, and 16% had been open for at least 30 years,” according to the NRA letter. “Only 48% of these former restaurant owners say it is likely they will remain in the industry in any form in the months or years ahead. Our nation is losing a generation of industry talent, knowledge and entrepreneurial spirit.”