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LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

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09/03/2019 | 05:34pm EDT


Tyson Cuts FY2019 Guidance on Issues Including Commodity Market Volatility 

Tyson Foods Inc. has lowered its fiscal 2019 earnings guidance, citing short-term challenges including commodity market volatility, a processing plant fire and margin compression related to a reversal of a gain on mark-to-market grain derivatives. The meat company said its fiscal 2020 outlook "remains positive as we believe some of the challenges we're experiencing are not expected to repeat, and we're expecting more favorable market conditions as well."

Cattle Up Despite Post-Labor Day Seasonality -- Market Talk 

11:43 ET - Cattle futures prices are somewhat defying seasonality, with the October contract up 0.3%. Usually, cattle prices start to trend lower at this time of year coinciding with the end of summer, says Steiner Consulting Group. "There is still a fair amount of grilling that will still take place, especially with NFL season getting under way this week and college football already playing games," says the firm. "However, weather is slowly turning and the start of the school year represents a different demand dynamic, in part because the start of the school year represents additional expenses for the average family." For futures, prices may move higher despite seasonality as prices continue to be "technically oversold and fundamentally undervalued," says AgResource. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)


Tyson Falls on Outlook, But It's Been a Good Year for Stock -- Market Talk 

16:54 ET - Tyson cuts its fiscal 2019 outlook as a number of recent events catch up to the meat company. "Challenges include margin compression related to a reversal of a gain on mark to market grain derivatives recognized in our third quarter, commodity market volatility, implementation of enhanced food safety initiatives, a beef processing plant fire, and slower than expected operational improvements in the Chicken segment," Tyson says. The company says its fiscal 2020 outlook remains positive. Tyson could benefit from increased demand for meat as China's hog population has been thinned out by African swine fever, even as US meat gets hit by export tariffs. Shares fall 5.9% after hours, but had gained nearly 75% during 2019 through the close. (jonathan.vuocolo@wsj.com; @jonvuocolo)

Tyson Closes Beef Plant as Dorian Bears Down -- Market Talk 

14:15 ET - Meat giant Tyson Foods closed its Jacksonville, Fla., beef-processing plant as a cautionary step with Hurricane Dorian poised to sweep up the US East Coast, a company spokesman said. The plant, which processes beef from cattle slaughtered elsewhere, will also stay closed Wednesday, and the spokesman said Tyson is monitoring the storm as it threatens other Southeastern states like Georgia, the country's biggest chicken producer. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

Sentiment Turns Grim on the Farm -- Market Talk 

10:02 ET - Farmers' economic sentiment took a big hit in August after the USDA projected a 2019 corn crop that baffled many farmers who struggled through the toughest spring planting conditions in memory, due to persistent rains. The Purdue University/CME Group index of farmer sentiment has been a roller coaster over the past six months, plunging in the spring after US-China trade talks faltered, then soaring on further USDA trade payments and expectations for higher crop prices due to the poor planting season. Despite a 19% drop in the index, overall farmer sentiment still remains above May's level, though farmers are increasingly wary of making big capital investments, and bearish on farmland values, Purdue and CME economists say. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

Weather Looks Good for US Crops -- Market Talk 

09:19 ET - The weather forecast for the US Corn Belt looks favorable for crop growth, according to data from the NOAA -- vital for areas where corn and soybean crops are roughly a month behind their normal growth progress. Rain from Hurricane Dorian is expected to make its way into the Midwest, and no frost is expected for the next 14 days, says the NOAA. "The bottom line should be very good for the Midwest with brief periods of rain and sunshine expected," says Terry Reilly of Futures International. For traders though, indications of a strong finish for crop growth is bad news for those looking for higher grains prices. Corn, soybeans, and wheat are all down in pre-market trading on the CBOT, led by wheat, which is down 1% to $4.5775 per bushel. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)


Hogs Finish Higher as Swine Fever Losses Mount -- Market Talk 

15:36 ET - Higher pork prices in China -- up roughly 60% this year -- reflect continued damage to China's pig herds due to the spread of African swine fever. Lean hog futures on the CME appear to be reacting to the momentum in China, closing limit up at 66.525 cents per pound, up 4.7%. "[The] trade is ... starting to question Chinese claims they will be able to avoid the U.S. when it comes to meat imports to cover [African swine fever] losses," says Karl Setzer of AgriVisor. Cattle, meanwhile, had a much smaller upturn, finishing 0.4% higher at 99.275 cents per pound. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)


Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Sep 3 
 This report reflects U.S. pork packer processing margins. The margin indices 
are calculated using current cash hog or carcass values and wholesale pork 
cutout values and may not reflect actual margins at the plants. These 
estimates reflect the general health of the industry and are not meant to 
be indicative of any particular company or plant. 
Source: USDA, based on Wall Street Journal calculations 
All figures are on a per-head basis. 
Date     Standard Margin       Estimated margin 
         Operating Index         at vertically - 
                             integrated operations 
Sep  3       +$ 35.48            +$ 31.28 
Aug 30       +$ 27.91            +$ 24.09 
Aug 29       +$ 22.32            +$ 22.27 
* 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  110.0 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)     Select  105.1 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Tuesday fell $1.11 per hundred pounds, to $230.66, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices fell 65 cents per hundred pounds, to $211.62. The total load count was 77. Wholesale pork prices rose $3.34, to $74.95 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
CORN FUTURES (C) - CBR (FLOOR)/C1 -0.38% 391.75 End-of-day quote.6.07%
FEEDER CATTLE?FUTURES (GF) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 0.15% 145.45 End-of-day quote.-2.44%
LIVE CATTLE (LE) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 0.13% 112.5 End-of-day quote.-9.98%
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%
TYSON FOODS -2.25% 81.86 Delayed Quote.53.30%
WHEAT FUTURES (W) - CBR (FLOOR)/C1 1.23% 513.25 End-of-day quote.0.94%
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