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LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

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08/23/2019 | 05:35pm EDT


Kraft Heinz in Danger of Junk Rating at S&P -- Market Talk

10:33 ET - S&P revises Kraft Heinz to a negative outlook from stable after it reported weaker-than-expected first-half results and withdrew its guidance for 2019, putting the food maker's credit rating on the edge of junk. S&P says the negative outlook reflects Kraft's continuing performance erosion and the potential for higher key commodity inflation, retailer inventory destocking and adverse currency movements in the second half. S&P currently has Kraft Heinz at BBB-, its lowest investment-grade rating. The agency says it could cut the rating by mid-2021 if it feels that Kraft won't be able to pare its adjusted leverage to below 4-times. (colin.kellaher@wsj.com)

Fires in Amazon Draw Attention to Business Practices -- ESG Insight

Fires in the Amazon may put mining and cattle-farming companies operating in the area under environmental scrutiny. Increased demand for minerals could encourage deforestation to enable mining, adding up to governmental openness to partnerships exploiting the environment. Companies such as Vale and Rio Tinto invested billions to boost production of iron ore and bauxite in the Amazon basin. As for cattle farming, Brazil's JBS and BRF are among the largest meat-processing companies worldwide. According to transparency platform Trase, companies in JBS supply chain are potentially responsible for the destruction of between 28,000 and 32,000 hectares of forest each year for exported beef.


Nestle Serves Up New Veggie Burger and Mince in Europe

Nestle SA (NESN.EB) has a renewed version of its plant-based burger and new vegetarian "minced beef" for Europeans as it stocks its pantry with environmentally-friendly food to meet rising demand.

The Swiss food giant said Friday it has refreshed its Garden Gourmet Incredible Burger seven months after its launch, following customer feedback.

Some Grains Traders Unmoved by New Chinese Tariff -- Market Talk

09:02 ET - News of a new Chinese tariff on $75B of US goods, including soybeans, is being seen by US traders as being more of a psychological dig at President Trump's support base than something that will materially worsen US soybean exports. "[Chinese] buyers are afraid to buy even if they could pay the tariffs," says Arlan Suderman of INTL FCStone. "They feel the fear of government officials that have warned them about buying from the United States and they fear escalation that could take place before they take delivery. The tariff rate is essentially immaterial in that environment." (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)


Livestock Takes Steep Dive on Trade Conflict -- Market Talk

14:38 ET - Livestock futures on the CME took a steep dive following news China would be implementing new tariffs on $75 billion worth of goods including soybeans and pork. Hog futures fell 3.8% to 59.925 cents a pound, while live cattle futures fell by 1.5% to 99.575 cents. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)


Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Aug 23 
All figures are on a per-head basis. 
Date     Standard Margin       Estimated margin 
         Operating Index         at vertically - 
                             integrated operations 
Aug 23       +$ 26.79            +$ 39.27 
Aug 22       +$ 24.34            +$ 40.16 
Aug 21       +$ 20.66            +$ 41.55 
* 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  110.8 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)     Select  104.3 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Friday fell $1.76 per hundred pounds, to $237.52, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices fell $3.20 per hundred pounds, to $212.71. The total load count was 77. Wholesale pork prices fell 41 cents, to $78.67 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
FEEDER CATTLE?FUTURES (GF) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 0.39% 140.5 End-of-day quote.-5.98%
INTL FCSTONE INC 0.21% 43.02 Delayed Quote.17.61%
JBS SA 4.25% 30.9 End-of-day quote.155.74%
LIVE CATTLE (LE) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 0.00% 99.8 End-of-day quote.-20.03%
NESTLÉ S.A. -0.90% 106.26 Delayed Quote.34.36%
RANDOM LENGTH LUMBER?FUTURES (LBS) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 1.43% 383.7 End-of-day quote.13.77%
RIO TINTO LIMITED -0.64% 92.44 End-of-day quote.18.57%
RIO TINTO PLC -0.39% 4233 Delayed Quote.13.49%
SOYBEAN MEAL FUTURES (ZM) - CBE (ELECTRONIC)/C1 -1.61% 293 End-of-day quote.-4.31%
SOYBEAN OIL FUTURES (ZL) - CBE (ELECTRONIC)/C1 -0.24% 29.1 End-of-day quote.5.63%
THE KRAFT HEINZ COMPANY -0.04% 28.14 Delayed Quote.-34.62%
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