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DJ LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

· 02/04/2021 17:26
Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Feb 4 All figures are on a per-head basis. Date Standard Margin Estimated margin Operating Index at vertically - integrated operations Feb 4 +$ 38.16 +$ 47.47 Feb 3 +$ 22.77 +$ 35.17 Feb 2 +$ 33.41 +$ 37.75 * 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 111.1 (Percent of Year-Ago) Select 106.2 USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

TOP STORIES

China's Return to Pork Dominance Beset With Hiccups -- Market Talk

1148 ET - One factor fueling the demand for US soybeans is efforts in China to rebuild its hog herd following the devastation of African swine fever -- which requires increased level of soymeal. However, China is running into issues scaling up its hog production based to pre-disease levels, causing import buyers there to purchase more US pork, says Dan Hueber of the Hueber Report. Any issues expanding China's hog herd may cut into the country's demand for US soybeans. In the USDA's export sales report this morning, 17,900 metric tons of US pork were sold to China for the week ending January 28. Meanwhile, 1.13 million tons of soybeans were sold to China for both the 2020/21 and 2021/22 marketing years. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)

Yum Says 4Q Expenses Pick Up But Demand Improves

Yum Brands Inc. said demand improved in the fourth quarter versus the third but higher costs weighed on the restaurant chain's profit.

The restaurant company behind KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell on Thursday said net income slipped to $332 million from $488 million the year earlier. Yum's profit per share fell to $1.08 from $1.58. Adjusted earnings per share of $1.15 beat expectations from analysts.

Global Food Prices Hit Highest Level in Almost Seven Years, UN's FAO Says

A steady climb in global food prices accelerated in January amid tightening export restrictions, weather-related supply disruptions and strong demand, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization said Thursday.

The FAO's Food Price Index, which tracks the cost of a basket of basic foodstuffs, rose 4.3% to 113.3 from December. That was the index's eighth consecutive monthly gain, and its highest level since July 2014.

Dairy and meat prices saw more muted gains. The FAO's Meat Price Index rose 1%, while its Dairy Price Index rose 1.6%.

STORIES OF INTEREST

Chobani Eyes 2021 Initial Public Offering

Chobani LLC, the food company that made Greek yogurt mainstream, is laying the groundwork for a public listing of its shares.

Chobani is eyeing an initial public offering later this year that it hopes could value the Norwich, N.Y., company at as much as $7 billion to $10 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

Steak 'n Shake Taps Guggenheim, Sources Say -- Market Talk

13:22 ET - Steak 'n Shake has engaged Guggenheim Securities as investment bank as the burger-and-milkshake chain prepares for restructuring negotiations with its lenders over a $153M loan that comes due next month, people familiar with the matter say. The move complements Steak 'n Shake's recent engagement of FTI Consulting Inc., which is serving as restructuring adviser, while Latham & Watkins LLP is legal counsel. The chain, which is focused on sit-down dining, has been heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. (Alexander.Gladstone@wsj.com; @gladstonea)

FUTURES MARKETS

Cattle Futures Turn the Corner -- Market Talk

1535 ET -- Live cattle futures on the CME finished trading up 1.1% at $1.2375 a pound, after starting the day slightly lower. Futures followed beef cutout prices higher, with the USDA assessing the current cutout price at $181.40 per hundredweight, up $2.04 per cwt from Wednesday. 90% lean beef made notable gains, up $1.98 per cwt to $225.40 per cwt, while lean hog futures closed trading up 0.1% to 79.3 cents a pound. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com, @kirkmaltais)

CASH MARKETS

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Thursday fell $1.03 per hundred pounds, to $234.25, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices fell $2.95 per hundred pounds, to $220.44. The total load count was 132. Wholesale pork prices rose $5.72, to $84.48 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 04, 2021 17:26 ET (22:26 GMT)

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