Georgia Suspends Chicken-Price Report Again -- Market Talk
10:27 ET - A key weekly index for poultry prices paid by grocery stores due today won't be published for a 2nd week, according to the Georgia Department of Agriculture, which compiles and reports the prices. Last week, new rules kicked in requiring chicken companies to vouch for the price data they supply for the Georgia Dock index amid skepticism about its accuracy. Not enough of the 9 companies which routinely submit chicken prices have done so. Agency spokeswoman Julie McPeake says at least half the companies would need to submit affidavits swearing to the accuracy of their prices before publishing resumes. (email@example.com; @kelseykgee)
Beef, Pork Profits Looking Fat at Tyson -- Market Talk
16:18 ET - Tyson Foods (TSN) says its pork and beef businesses are running above their usual profit margin ranges in the company's current quarter, thanks to cheap and plentiful animals and steady consumer demand. Tyson's chicken and prepared foods businesses are in their usual margin ranges, but overall the quarter appears "phenomenal" for the top U.S. meatpacker, execs say at investor presentation. Tom Hayes, Tyson's incoming CEO and current president, ventures that beef is "a cash cow right now" -- at least for processors like Tyson; beef producers are struggling against low beef prices. (firstname.lastname@example.org; @jacobbunge)
Bumble Bee Foods Executive to Plead Guilty to Fixing Canned Tuna Prices
WASHINGTON -- A Bumble Bee Foods executive has agreed to plead guilty to fixing prices on canned tuna, the first criminal charges in an ongoing Justice Department probe in the packaged seafood industry.
Prosecutors on Wednesday said Walter Scott Cameron would plead guilty to one felony charge for fixing prices on packaged seafood from 2011 to 2013. Mr. Cameron, identified in a court document as a senior vice president of sales, has agreed to pay a criminal fine and cooperate in the investigation, the department said.
STORIES OF INTEREST
Tyson Takes Chicken-Price Scrutiny 'Personally' -- Market Talk
15:38 ET - Tyson Foods (TSN) says scrutiny over a Georgia Agriculture Department chicken-pricing index is a "tempest in a teapot" for the biggest U.S. meat company, but it still rankles. "We take this very personally, the allegations made in the media," says Tom Hayes, TSN's president and incoming CEO, referring at an investor event to articles raising questions around the Georgia index's divergence from other poultry pricing benchmarks and lack of verification of prices supplied to Georgia officials by processors like TSN. Hayes says TSN has signed documents that affirm the reliability of the data the company provides, and while the Georgia index only factors into pricing of 3.5% to 4% of TSN's chicken sales, "we view that as an attack on our integrity as a company." (Jacob.email@example.com; @jacobbunge)
U.S. Cattle Futures Pressured By Dip in Cash Markets
CHICAGO--The cattle market was pressured by a pullback in the cash markets on Wednesday, ending a three-week surge in demand for livestock and beef.
The price of December live-cattle futures dropped 0.475 cent, or 0.4%, to $1.09375 a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. February live-cattle futures fell 0.275 cent to $1.10775 a pound. Feeder-cattle futures for January delivery rose 0.125 cent to $1.26975 a pound.
Zumbrota, Minn., Hog Market $1.00 Higher At $28.00 - Dec 7
Barrow and gilt prices at the Zumbrota, Minn., livestock market today are $1.00 higher at $28.00 per hundredweight.
Sow prices are steady.
Sows weighing under 450 pounds are $21.00-$22.00, 400-450 pounds are at $21.00-$22.00, 450-500 pounds are $21.00-$22.00 and those over 500 pounds are $23.00-$24.00.
The day's total run is estimated at 150 head.
Prices are provided by the Central Livestock Association.
Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Dec 7
All figures are on a per-head basis.
Date Standard Margin Estimated margin
Operating Index at vertically
Dec 07 +$43.04 +$27.29
Dec 06 +$45.13 +$25.72
Dec 05 +$50.03 +$25.36
* 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.
This report compares the USDA's latest beef carcass composite
values as a percentage of their respective year-ago prices.
For Today Choice 92.6
(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 90.0
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports
Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Wednesday fell $1.57 per hundred pounds, to $188.94, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices fell $1.51 per hundred pounds, to $171.72. The total load count was 192. Wholesale pork prices rose 73 cents, to $74.43 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.