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LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS : Top Stories of the Day

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03/14/2019 | 04:40pm EDT

TOP STORIES

China Returns to U.S. Pork Market With 23,800-Metric-Ton Purchase

Devastation to Chinese pig herds due to the spread of African swine fever has pushed Chinese buyers to the U.S. to fill their pork needs.

The U.S. sold 23,800 metric tons of pork to China last week, making up over half of the 50,300 tons sold globally, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data released Thursday. It is the biggest amount of U.S. pork sold to China during the trade war and the most sizable Chinese purchase of pork since April 2017, when 23,900 tons were sold.

USDA Announces Recall of Contaminated Pork Sausages -- Market Talk

08:51 ET - The USDA has announced the recall of approximately 191,928 pounds of ready-to-eat pork sausage produced by Monogram Meat Snacks LLC, which according to the agency is being recalled due to product tampering following the production process. The recall covers a wide swath of Duke's-brand smoked shorty sausages, which are available in five-ounce packages. According to the USDA, there have been no reports of sickness due to the consumption of a contaminated package, but the agency urges consumers to either throw away for return any affected product they may have. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)

STORIES OF INTEREST

Tyson Uses 'Nature's Barcode' to Trace Beef -- Market Talk

10:14 ET - Tyson Foods inks a deal to use what officials call "nature's barcode" to trace cuts of higher-end beef from cattle ranches to restaurants and grocery stores. For its Open Prairie Natural Angus Beef line, the Arkansas meat giant will use a DNA-tracking system developed by Kansas-based Identigen, collecting a DNA sample from cattle that lets Tyson and its customers identify where the animal was born, raised, and how it moved through Tyson's supply chain. The idea is to assure buyers that they are getting what they paid for with the premium beef, which is raised without antibiotics, growth hormones, and fed a vegetarian diet. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

Wessanen in Talks Over EUR875 Million Bid Led by PAI Partners

Koninklijke Wessanen NV (WES.AE) said Thursday that it is in talks over a potential takeover offer from a consortium led by private-equity firm PAI Partners and U.S. investor Charles Jobson, valuing the Dutch food company at around 875 million euros ($989 million).

The company, which owns brands including Clipper Teas and Whole Earth, said talks are continuing over an offer at EUR11.50 a share.

FUTURES MARKETS

Hog Futures Continue Rally Amid News of Chinese Buy -- Market Talk

15:01 ET - Lean hog futures finish trading on the CME up 3.7%, at 65.8 cents a pound. The rally took a break yesterday, but roared back amid news that China had purchased more pork from the U.S. than it has since April 2017. China's purchase of U.S. pork exports totaled 23,800 metric tons last week, which is more than the next four leading countries for the week combined. Market participants believe that this is a sign that African swine fever has decimated pig herds in China to the point where China is struggling to meet its own internal demand. Live cattle settled up 0.6% to $1.274, following pork's momentum. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)

CASH MARKETS

 
Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Mar 14 
 
All figures are on a per-head basis. 
 
Date     Standard Margin       Estimated margin 
         Operating Index         at vertically - 
                             integrated operations 
 
Mar 14       +$ 25.48            +$ 12.07 
Mar 13       +$ 26.04            +$  9.49 
Mar 12       +$ 37.21            +$  1.81 
 
* 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  101.6 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)     Select  100.8 
 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 
 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Thursday fell 54 cents per hundred pounds, to $227.70, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices fell 52 cents per hundred pounds, to $218.76. The total load count was 118. Wholesale pork prices rose $1.20, to $67.35 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
JUST EAT -1.47% 617.2 Delayed Quote.6.75%
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