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LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

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06/13/2018 | 11:47 pm


TOP STORIES





Tariffs Further Pinch Consumer-Staple Stocks -- Update



Escalating trade tensions have made times even harder for shares of companies that provide everyday goods.



Already struggling with pricing pressures and sluggish growth, the fortunes of consumer-staple companies in the S&P 500 were further shaken after Canada, Mexico and the European Union retaliated against the U.S.'s imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.



Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to impose billions of dollars of tariffs on steel, aluminum and other U.S. goods, such as food and agricultural products. Mexico's Economy Ministry is targeting lamps, berries, grapes, apples, cold cuts, pork chops and cheese products, among other goods the U.S. produces and sends there. The EU will start imposing EUR2.8 billion worth of tariffs in July, including 25% levies on peanut butter, orange juice and cranberries, among other goods.





STORIES OF INTEREST





Kroger Scaling Down in Competitive NC Market -- Market Talk



15:13 ET - Kroger's Mid-Atlantic business entity is pulling out of the Raleigh-Durham market in August, selling all 14 Kroger-branded stores employing 1,500 workers, the company says. However, Kroger could maintain some presence in Raleigh, as its Harris Teeter banner--a separate business entity within Kroger--is expected to buy eight of the closing stores and convert them to fancier Harris Teeter stores. Raleigh-Durham is one of the most competitive markets in the U.S., with deep discounters and higher-end grocery chains both expanding there. "We have not been able to grow our business the way we would like in this market," says division president Jerry Clontz, adding that many retail analysts say the market has too many grocery stores. Kroger reports earnings next week, and shares are up 2.1% to $26.23. (heather.haddon@wsj.com; @heatherhaddon)





Trade-Sensitive Stocks Slide on Tariff Report -- Market Talk



15:46 ET - Shares of companies that investors believe are vulnerable to tightening trade policies are sliding as a report suggests the Trump administration could levy tariffs on tens of billions of dollars of Chinese goods in the coming week. Senior trade officials have agreed that the U.S. should move forward with the tariffs, people briefed on the talks told WSJ. Investors and analysts have worried that the moves could trigger retaliatory trade measures that crimp profits at U.S. firms. Farm-machinery maker Deere off 2.9%, while Boeing down 1.6% and Caterpillar off 1.7%. Polaris, which relies on steel and aluminum to make off-road vehicles, was down 0.6%. (akane.otani@wsj.com)





FUTURES MARKETS





Hog Futures Rally on Improving Supply-Demand Outlook -- Market Talk



15:09 ET - Hog futures continued a recent rally sparked by tighter supplies and solid demand. Meatpackers have paid more for pigs to slaughter in recent days, with average prices rising $1.27 to $79.17 per 100 pounds on Tuesday. The rally has been helped by falling hog weights, Midwest Market Solutions says, prompting a seasonally tight patch that has given producers more leverage to raise their asking prices. Wholesale pork prices, meanwhile, have also recently risen. All that has futures traders betting the hog market has higher to go. CME June lean hog contracts rose 0.6% to 81c a pound. June-dated cattle futures fell 0.6% to $.107925 a pound. (benjamin.parkin@wsj.com; @b_parkyn)





CASH MARKETS




Zumbrota, Minn Hog Steady at $50.00 - Jun 13



Barrow and gilt prices at the Zumbrota, Minn., livestock market are steady at $50.00 per hundredweight.



Sow prices are $2.00-$4.00 higher. Sows weighing 400-450 pounds are at $32.00-$34.00, 450-500 pounds are $32.00-$34.00 and those over 500 pounds are at $36.00-$38.00.



The day's total run is estimated at 100 head.



Prices are provided by the Central Livestock Association.




Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Jun 13

All figures are on a per-head basis.

Date Standard Margin Estimated margin
Operating Index at vertically -
integrated operations
*
Jun 13 -$ 6.84 +$43.90
Jun 12 -$ 4.47 +$42.97
Jun 11 -$ 4.79 +$40.00

* Based on Iowa State University's latest estimated cost of production.
A positive number indicates a processing margin above the cost of production of the animals.

Beef-O-Meter
This report compares the USDA's latest beef carcass composite
values as a percentage of their respective year-ago prices.

Beef
For Today Choice 89.2
(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 91.7

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports



Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Wednesday fell $1.02 per hundred pounds to $223.90, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices fell $1.09 per hundred pounds to $202.30. The total load count was 144. Wholesale pork prices rose 43 cents to $80.82 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.





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