LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS : Top Stories of the Day

09/15/2020 | 05:32pm

TOP STORIES

 

China's Hog Herd Rebuild Could Push Up Demand for US Agriculture -- Market Talk

China has been active buying US exports, a trend that has continued today with 132,000 metric tons of soybeans being sold there for delivery in 2020/21 marketing year. One factor that may be adding to the demand for US agriculture in China is the rebuilding of hog herds in China decimated by African swine fever. "Food waste is massive in China, where the culture prides itself in extravagant meals," explains Arlan Suderman of StoneX. "There was a whole industry created to channel this food waste to hog farms prior to ASF, but that is now illegal due to the risk of spreading ASF. That food waste must be replaced, with corn and soymeal the primary components doing the job." Corn and soybean futures on the CBOT are down Tuesday. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)

 

STORIES OF INTEREST

 

Wheat Drops on Larger World Supplies

Wheat for December delivery fell 1.4% to $5.38 1/4 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade Tuesday, amid indications of higher Black Sea wheat supply.

Corn for December delivery fell 1% to $3.66 a bushel.

Soybeans for November delivery fell 0.8% to $9.91 1/2 a bushel.

 

Cracker Barrel Warns That Weather Could Cool Outdoor Dining -- Market Talk

1436 ET - Cracker Barrel Old Country Store skips giving full guidance for its fiscal year that began Aug. 1, and finance chief Jill Golder says the company is taking a cautious approach amid the pandemic. "There continues to be much uncertainty around consumer willingness to revisit full-service restaurants as well as our ability to continue front-porch dining in the fall and winter," she told investors earlier Tuesday. The front-operation that Cochran mentioned is an initiative rolled out to about 350 stores to help increase capacity by adding five to six tables, according to Golder. But that kind of outdoor dining likely will be curtailed as the weather cools off, she adds. Shares off 3.9%. (micah.maidenberg@wsj.com; @MicahMaidenberg)

 

Cracker Barrel Testing Catering, Grab-And-Go Operations -- Market Talk

15:11 ET - Cracker Barrel Old Country Store plans to convert a location in Indianapolis into a kitchen focused on catering, CEO Sandra Cochran told investors on an earnings call earlier. That store will attempt to build out a catering business and potentially offer menu items that other locations may not have the equipment for, expertise or time to produce, she says. The company is also going to test offering grab-and-go food. Other restaurant chains are also experimenting with new formats and stores as the pandemic hampers demand and sales. Brinker International launched a chicken-wing delivery business called It's Just Wings, a so-called virtual brand, out of about 1.1K Chili's and Maggiano's locations, while Yum Brands is rolling out a new design for Taco Bell emphasizing to-go and digital ordering. (micah.maidenberg@wsj.com; @MicahMaidenberg)

 

FUTURES MARKETS

 

Hog Futures Decline Extends -- Market Talk

15:03 ET - Lean hog futures on the CME finished down 0.8% to 63.05 cents per pound. Futures prices followed pork cutouts lower yesterday, but they've since rebounded - with carcass prices rising $6.64 per hundredweight to $86.35 per cwt through the end of business today. "With the market at a big premium to the cash market, and the technical overbought condition of the market, we cannot rule out a significant pullback short-term," says RJO Futures. Meanwhile, live cattle futures finished trading 0.2% higher at $1.071 per pound. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)

 

CASH MARKETS

 
Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Sep 15 
 
 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 
 
Sep 15       +$ 45.19            +$ 52.91 
Sep 11       +$ 53.58            +$ 46.20 
Sep 10       +$ 53.11            +$ 44.89 
 
* 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   97.9 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)      Select  104.9 
 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Tuesday fell $1.12 per hundred pounds, to $216.09, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices fell $1.48 per hundred pounds, to $206.28. The total load count was 159. Wholesale pork prices rose $4.92, to $83.68 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

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