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LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS : Top Stories of the Day

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11/09/2017 | 11:47pm CEST

Amazon Puts Whole Foods, Rapid-Delivery Businesses Under Veteran Executive

Amazon.com Inc. has consolidated its physical retail and fast-delivery operations under a veteran lieutenant of Chief Executive Jeff Bezos, according to people familiar with the m atter, as it integrates its new Whole Foods Market unit with related businesses.

That gives Steve Kessel responsibility for Prime Now, Amazon's rapid-delivery operation, and AmazonFresh, its grocery-delivery arm, in addition to Whole Foods and Amazon's physical book and convenience stores, the people said. The goal is ease changes across those platforms as Amazon tries to reinvent the way consumers shop in stores, one of the people said.

USDA Raises Corn Harvest, Stockpile Forecasts -- Update

U.S. farmers will harvest more grain than expected this year, exacerbating a glut of grain supplies that has kept prices low.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said farmers will reap 14.578 billion bushels of corn in 2017-2018, up from its previous estimate, thanks in part to a record yield of 175.4 bushels per acre.


Kroger Hires Thousands for the Holidays -- Market Talk

11:50 ET - Kroger says it will add 14,000 part-time and seasonal workers as the nation's largest supermarket chain gears up for the holidays. The Cincinnati-based company says it will spend $500M on workers across the next three years. Kroger is fighting increased competition in groceries, with its stock down 36% so far this year. (heather.haddon@wsj.com; @heatherhaddon)

Dairy Crest Well Placed for Further Growth, Analysts Say -- Market Talk

1317 GMT - Dairy Crest looks well placed to deliver further growth, analysts from three brokerages agree, after the U.K. cheese-and-spreads maker reported a strong performance for the first half of fiscal 2018. According to Numis, positive momentum in the company's cheese-and-ingredients business helped to offset the cost pressure in butter in the first half. The second half should be even stronger, since Dairy Crest has been signing up additional customers, Peel Hunt forecasts. Meanwhile, Shore Capitals views the company as strategically well positioned to sustain further profit growth, cash generation and deleverage, following the revised pension arrangements that have boosted earnings in the first half. (adria.calatayudvaello@dowjones.com)


Cattle futures were mixed on Thursday after a downturn in physical cattle prices continued to weigh on the market.

Meatpackers paid an average of $123.23 per 100 pounds on a live basis for slaughter-ready cattle on Wednesday, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That was slightly lower than last week's average, despite expectations that prices would rise when this week's trade began.

December live cattle futures at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange fell 0.4% to $1.22475 a pound, while February-dated contracts were also lower. Prices for later months rose.

Hog futures were also mixed. The CME front-month December lean hog contract fell 0.6% to 63.175 cents a pound, while later months rose.

Zumbrota, Minn Hog Steady At $38.00 - Nov 9 

Barrow and gilt prices at the Zumbrota, Minn., livestock market today are steady at $38.00 per hundredweight.

Sow prices are steady. Sows weighing under 450 pounds are $31.00-$33.00, 400-450 pounds are at $31.00-$33.00, 450-500 pounds are $31.00-$33.00 and those over 500 pounds are $35.00-$37.00.

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 - Nov 9 
All figures are on a per-head basis. 
Date     Standard Margin       Estimated margin 
         Operating Index         at vertically - 
                             integrated operations 
Nov  9       +$39.56              +$43.90 
Nov  8       +$35.54              +$41.64 
Nov  7       +$37.28              +$41.98 
* 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  114.8 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)     Select  115.3 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Thursday fell 39 cents per hundred pounds, to $212.74, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices fell 59 cents per hundred pounds, to $198.30. The total load count was 112. Wholesale pork prices rose $1.05, to $80.82 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

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