LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS : Top Stories of the Day

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03/24/2020 | 10:30 pm

TOP STORIES

 

COFCO Meat Holdings Swung to Profit in 2019

COFCO Meat Holdings Ltd. swung to a net profit in 2019 from a loss in the prior year, mainly driven by increased income and profit from hog production and higher sales for the meat import segment.

Net profit was 424.9 million yuan ($59.9 million) in 2019, compared with a loss of CNY204.1 million a year earlier, according to a filing with the Hong Kong exchange on Tuesday.

 

STORIES OF INTEREST

 

Corn Futures Get Boost From Optimism Over China Trade Deal

Corn for May delivery rose 1.1% to $3.47 1/4 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade on Tuesday, with the USDA's confirmation of Chinese interest in U.S. distilled grains as part of the implementation of the Phase One trade agreement spurring excitement among traders.

Soybeans for May delivery rose 0.3% to $8.86 a bushel.

Wheat for May delivery fell 0.2% to $5.61 1/2 a bushel.

 

USDA Update on Phase-One Progress Stimulates Grain Futures -- Market Talk

13:48 ET - The USDA's update on the progress in fulfilling the obligations of the Phase One trade deal between the US and China helped pull grains futures on the CBOT higher. Corn futures in particular get a boost, with traders hopeful increased Chinese purchases of distillers dried grains with solubles, a byproduct of ethanol production, would help stimulate the troubled US ethanol industry. "The news that the US/China are making fresh progress on Phase 1 US ag purchases lifted CBOT futures heading into midday," AgResource says. Corn futures on the CBOT are trading 1.3% higher. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)

 

Export Weakness Still a Pressure Point for Grains -- Market Talk

11:46 ET - Although domestic demand has gotten a short-term boost from consumer panic-buying thanks to coronavirus, this strength is expected to soon recede. One reason for this is that with coronavirus, export demand globally for US agricultural products is muted -- something that a run on grocery stores by consumers won't alone offset. "The total impact of exports has been a huge negative," says Dave Marshall of First Choice Commodities, pointing to Monday's weak grain export inspection figures as confirmation that once consumers are stocked up on the food they need for their homes in the US, American grains outlet to other nations has been constrained as coronavirus keeps people at home. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)

 

FUTURES MARKETS

 

Cattle Futures Close Limit High For Second Day -- Market Talk

15:32 ET - June cattle futures finish trading limit high--which they hit once the market opened at 9:30 am ET, up 4.9% to 97.025 cents per pound. The reaction to Sanderson Farms' decision to leave its McComb, Miss. plant open for operations despite an employee testing positive for coronavirus, has traders looking at cattle futures as ripe for a bounce off recent losses. "CME cattle futures became too cheap on the fear that a Covid-19 infection would close a kill plant for 2 weeks," says AgResource. Meanwhile, lean hog futures finish 2.9% higher at 73 cents per pound. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com;, @kirkmaltais)

 

CASH MARKETS

 
Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Mar 24 
 
 This report reflects U.S. pork packer processing margins. The margin indices 
are calculated using current cash hog or carcass values and wholesale pork 
cutout values and may not reflect actual margins at the plants. These 
estimates reflect the general health of the industry and are not meant to 
be indicative of any particular company or plant. 
Source: USDA, based on Wall Street Journal calculations 
All figures are on a per-head basis. 
 
Date     Standard Margin       Estimated margin 
         Operating Index         at vertically - 
                             integrated operations 
 
Mar 24       +$ 40.55            +$ 41.59 
Mar 23       +$ 47.58            +$ 45.03 
Mar 20       +$ 43.11            +$ 36.97 
 
* 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  111.9 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)     Select  112.2 
 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Tuesday rose 16 cents per hundred pounds, to $257.48, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose 78 cents per hundred pounds, to $245.92. The total load count was 92. Wholesale pork prices fell $1.60, to $81.08 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

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