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LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

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02/01/2019 | 05:46pm EST


Blue Apron Customer Declines Troubling -- Market Talk

08:19 ET - Analysts were pleased to see Blue Apron beating on earnings and its efforts to become more efficient, but view the meal-kit company's customer declines as troubling. The food delivery service is the one Internet-based company tracked by RBC to show falling customers, the firm writes. "We'd need to see growth to have any conviction on improving fundamentals," it writes. (heather.haddon@wsj.com; @heatherhaddon)

Nestle Accelerates Supply Chain Transparency

Nestle SA (NESN.EB) said Friday it plans to accelerate efforts toward full supply-chain transparency by disclosing the list of suppliers and a variety of data for its key commodities.

The Swiss food and beverage giant said the 15 commodities included in the move accounts for 95% of its annual sourcing of raw materials.

"Consumers want to know what is in their food and where it comes from," said Magdi Batato, executive vice president and head of operations at Nestle.


Soybean Futures Rise on China Purchase Plans

Soybean futures climbed after China agreed to purchase 5 million tons of the oilseed from the U.S., though agricultural officials are skeptical the deal would much dent a projected record U.S. soybean stockpile.

The planned soybean buy, announced on Thursday in Washington, would nearly double the average monthly quantity that Chinese importers purchased in 2017 and 2016, according to U.S. Agriculture Department data. But with Chinese buyers having avoided U.S. soybeans for months up until late December, traders said much more is needed to ensure that U.S. farmers can sell what is forecast to be a record 2018 soybean crop.


Livestock Futures Quiet As Traders Look To Data Next Week -- Market Talk

14:50 ET - Livestock futures finish little changed from the start of the day with lean hog futures on the CME down 0.2% to 60.125 cents per pound and live cattle futures down 0.1%, at $1.26275 per pound. Cold weather through the Midwest has been the main driver for trading this week, but outside of that there's been little news to push prices in either direction. Further releases of USDA data, as well as clarity on China's handling of its African swine fever outbreak, will likely lead to more activity on the livestock markets. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)


Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Feb 1 
All figures are on a per-head basis. 
Date     Standard Margin       Estimated margin 
         Operating Index         at vertically - 
                             integrated operations 
Feb  1       +$ 27.82            +$  8.46 
Jan 31       +$ 29.09            +$ 10.05 
Jan 30       +$ 23.69            +$  7.08 
* 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  102.2 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)     Select  104.2 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Friday fell $1.13 per hundred pounds, to $214.26, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose 27 cents per hundred pounds, to $213.15. The total load count was 73. Wholesale pork prices fell 74 cents, to $65.67 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
FEEDER CATTLE?FUTURES (GF) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 0.89% 141.8 End-of-day quote.-4.90%
HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY -0.98% 9.13 Delayed Quote.25.24%
LIVE CATTLE (LE) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 0.33% 120.325 End-of-day quote.-3.69%
SOYBEAN MEAL FUTURES (ZM) - CBE (ELECTRONIC)/C1 -0.70% 297.4 End-of-day quote.-2.87%
SOYBEAN OIL FUTURES (ZL) - CBE (ELECTRONIC)/C1 2.38% 31.01 End-of-day quote.12.56%
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