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LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

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09/12/2018 | 11:53pm CET

TOP STORIES

Hog Farmers in Florence's Path Working Overtime to Prepare

With Hurricane Florence headed toward North Carolina and the largest concentration of hog farms in the nation, hundreds of farmers are hastily trying to stave off disaster by stockpiling feed, draining waste lagoons and moving animals to higher ground.

After Hurricane Floyd in 1999 caused widespread flooding and devastated many farms, killing animals and causing waste to leak into waterways, the state started a program to buy up farms on floodplains.

U.S. Businesses Ramp Up Lobbying Against Trump's Tariffs

WASHINGTON -- From California apple growers to Maine lobstermen, businesses are joining forces to try to persuade President Trump that tariffs are hurting U.S. industries.

On Wednesday, organizations representing thousands of companies in industries including retailing, toy manufacturing, farming and technology plan to announce they are cooperating on a lobbying campaign called Tariffs Hurt the Heartland to oppose tariffs on imports.

Plant Burgers, Beverages Selling Briskly -- Market Talk

16:41 ET - Sales of vegetarian alternatives to traditional meat, milk and other products are growing faster than the real things, according to data from Nielsen and the Good Food Institute, a trade body promoting "plant-based" foods and beverages. In grocery stores, sales of Beyond Meat burgers, soy milk and similar products grew by 17% to $3.7B over the past year, versus a 2% increase in the much-larger traditional grocery category, according to the report. Plant alternatives to cow milk are sold in 89% of all retail outlets now and represent about 13% of all U.S. milk sales, the groups say, while 12% of U.S. households now buy meat imitations. The growth comes as livestock and dairy producers raise protests against vegetarian versions using terms like "milk" and "meat." (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

STORIES OF INTEREST

Record-Setting U.S. Corn Yield Estimate Prompts Sell Off

Domestic corn farmers are due to harvest a larger-than-expected crop after the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast record yields Wednesday, taking traders by surprise.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture raised its estimate for domestic corn production for 2018-19 to 14.8 billion bushels, up 241 million from last month's estimate. The agency said in its monthly supply and demand report that it expects to see a record corn yield of 181.3 bushels per acre, surprising analysts who were expecting smaller production.

Hurricane Florence Could Hurt Major Restaurant Chains -- Market Talk

10:12 ET - Several national restaurant chains have a large enough footprint in the Southeast that Hurricane Florence, expected to hit landfall in North Carolina by the weekend, could experience a material sales impact, according to Jefferies. Chipotle, Bojangles, Zoe's Kitchen and Bloomin' Brands are among the chains with the most exposure to the areas in Florence's expected path. Many of the same chains were also hurt by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma around this time last year. In addition to immediate restaurant closures and damage, restaurants often face lingering sales declines in the wake of a major storm due to residents facing heightened price sensitivity. (julie.jargon@wsj.com)

Amazon Expands Prime Now Grocery Delivery From Whole Foods in 10 New Cities -- MarketWatch

Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) said Wednesday that it has added Prime Now grocery delivery from Whole Foods Markets in Las Vegas, Charlotte and Raleigh, N.C., Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, Seattle, and Tuscson, Ariz. Prime Now delivery, which gets groceries to customers in as little as an hour, has also been added to more neighborhoods in New York City, Los Angeles and the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. This brings Prime Now service to 38 cities. Amazon shares have gained 69% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index is up 7.8% for the period.

FUTURES MARKETS

Livestock Prices Rise as Hurricane Florence Nears -- Market Talk

15:29 ET - Livestock futures end higher as traders watch for developments on Hurricane Florence and on the growing swine disease outbreak in China. Hog futures rise 2.4% to 55.8 cents a pound, while cattle futures rise 2%. The hurricane approaching the Southeast coast has caused hog processors in the region to enact hurricane preparedness plans, which could interfere with slaughter schedules. "The massive disruption in the kill will tighten up the product pipeline and we should see a higher to sharply higher cutout value develop," says Dennis Smith of Archer Financial Services. (francesca.fontana@wsj.com; @francescamarief)

CASH MARKETS

 
Zumbrota, Minn Hogs Not Established - Sep 12 
 

Barrow and gilt prices were not established today at the Zumbrota, Minn., livestock market.

Sow prices are steady. Sows weighing 400-450 pounds are at $23.00, 450-500 pounds are $23.00 and those over 500 pounds are at $25.00-$26.00.

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 - Sep 12 
 
All figures are on a per-head basis. 
 
Date     Standard Margin       Estimated margin 
         Operating Index         at vertically - 
                             integrated operations 
                                      * 
Sep 12       +$ 40.12            +$ 17.42 
Sep 11       +$ 38.01            +$ 13.77 
Sep 10       +$ 41.60            +$ 10.52 
 
* 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  107.6 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)     Select  104.5 
 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 
 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Wednesday fell $1.28 per hundred pounds to $204.79, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices fell $1.04 per hundred pounds to $197.27. The total load count was 163. Wholesale pork prices rose $1.70 to $69.84 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
DJ INDUSTRIAL 0.49% 25413.22 Delayed Quote.2.31%
NASDAQ 100 -0.34% 6867.0153 Delayed Quote.7.72%
NASDAQ COMP. -0.15% 7247.8726 Delayed Quote.3.38%
S&P 500 0.22% 2736.27 Delayed Quote.2.12%
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