United Natural Plunges on Supervalu Merger Costs -- Market Talk
16:50 ET - United Natural Foods down 6% in extended trading after the Whole Foods distributor reports a 38 cents a share loss on a net loss of $19.3M. The distributor says the steep losses were associated with its acquisition of conventional food distributor Supervalu. Sales to Whole Foods continue to grow under Amazon, with net sales up more than 20% to the natural grocer in the quarter ending in October. (email@example.com; @heatherhaddon)
Activist Investor to Push Del Frisco's to Sell Itself -- 2nd Update
An activist investor has a beef with Del Frisco's Restaurant Group Inc.
Engaged Capital LLC has bought nearly 10% of the restaurant operator's shares and plans to push it to sell itself, the hedge fund said in a letter to the company's board Thursday morning.
FAO Food Price Drops Again in November
LONDON--World food prices slipped in November, dropping across all categories with the exception of sugar, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations said Thursday.
The FAO Food Price Index was down 1.3% from its October level and some 8.5% below the level from the same month last year, the organization said.
Dairy prices fell 3.3%, while meat prices slipped 3.5% from their October price. Vegetable oils fell 5.7% on month to their lowest level in 12 years.
STORIES OF INTEREST
UBS Waits on Fonterra Turnaround After Tough 1Q -- Market Talk
2147 GMT - UBS is taking a wait-and-see approach toward Fonterra Shareholders' Fund, as its 1Q update offered little evidence of a quick recovery in the dairy exporter's fortunes. Fonterra reported a 1Q trading loss of around NZ$10M compared to a profit of A$24M a year ago, reflecting lower sales volumes, ongoing margin pressure in foodservice and higher operating costs. Still, Fonterra pointed toward a better 2H, with FY19 underlying EPS maintained on a pared-back farmgate milk price of NZ$6-NZ$6.30/kilo of milk solids. UBS continues to see a final milk price of NZ$6.70, but retains a neutral call "until we can gain greater confidence in Fonterra's turnaround." (firstname.lastname@example.org; @dwinningWSJ)
Smithfield Foods Investment Will Bring More Bacon to Sioux Falls
Smithfield Foods, Inc., said Thursday the company is investing nearly $45 million and adding 70 new jobs to its Sioux Falls, S.D., operations.
Smithfield said U.S. bacon demand is on the rise, and the company is responding by increasing its bacon capacity and upgrading equipment to include high-speed lines.
Unilever CMO Keith Weed to Retire -- 2nd Update
Unilever Chief Marketing Officer Keith Weed will retire from the company in May, the consumer-products giant said Thursday.
Mr. Weed, 57 years old, has been at Unilever for 35 years. The announcement of his departure comes shortly after the company named Alan Jope to succeed longtime Chief Executive Paul Polman. The company, along with its rivals, faces many challenges, including a shift in consumer tastes.
Pork Futures Make Up Ground Following Morning Slip -- Market Talk
15:18 ET - Lean hog futures made up ground throughout the day after starting the trading session down by 3.6%, closing trading at 66.9 cents per pound, down 1.25%. More cases of African swine fever have been reported in China and Europe, which analysts believe may be bullish for U.S. pork going forward - unless the disease reaches American shores. However, the uncertainty surrounding the U.S.-China truce continues to weigh on prices. Meanwhile, live cattle futures dropped by 0.5% to $1.218 per pound on slightly lower volumes from yesterday, with reports that feedlots are experiencing sloppy conditions from bad weather which are likely to continue throughout the weekend. (email@example.com; @kirkmaltais)
Zumbrota, Minn Hog Steady at $33.00 - Dec 6
Barrow and gilt prices at the Zumbrota, Minn., livestock market are steady at $33.00 per hundredweight.
Sow prices are $4.00-$5.00 lower. Sows weighing 400-450 pounds are at $28.00, 450-500 pounds are $28.00 and those over 500 pounds are at $30.00.
The day's total run is estimated at 250 head.
Prices are provided by the Central Livestock Association.
Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Dec 6
All figures are on a per-head basis.
Date Standard Margin Estimated margin
Operating Index at vertically -
Dec 06 +$ 44.68 +$ 18.48
Dec 05 +$ 44.20 +$ 17.01
Dec 04 +$ 40.53 +$ 17.29
* 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 103.7
(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 107.8
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports
Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Thursday fell 59 cents per hundred pounds, to $212.67, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose $1.36 per hundred pounds, to $198.22. The total load count was 88. Wholesale pork prices rose 68 cents, to $70.33 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.