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LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

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01/14/2020 | 05:35pm EST


Beef Prices a 2020 Restaurant Focus -- Market Talk

1227 ET - Darden Restaurants, Shake Shack and franchisees of Restaurants Brands are among the restaurant outlets closely watching rising beef prices this year and how it could impact their bottom lines. Carrols Restaurants, Burger King's largest franchisee, says its expects a 9% increase to beef prices this year, potentially resulting in profit hits in the millions that could translate into price increases, CEO Daniel Accordino says at the ICR Conference. Burger King is in the process of trying to reduce its beef imports, but that work is expected to take time, Accordino says. (heather.haddon@wsj.com; @heatherhaddon)


Domino's Expects Low Level Commodity Inflation -- Market Talk

15:03 ET - Domino's Pizza reiterates its growth outlook for the next two to three years, and executives say currency exchange will continue to pressure the global pizza chain in 2020. Commodities are projected to grow one to three percent in FY2020, a benign level executives expect to help with U.S. profitability. Executives say at the ICR Conference that the pizza chain expects to launch a new product this year, as it hasn't for some time. (heather.haddon@wsj.com; @heatherhaddon)

Beyond Meat Inks Big Pea Deal -- Market Talk

16:56 ET - Meat alternative developer Beyond Meat takes further steps to avoid production shortfalls in its plant-based burgers and sausage, signing a multi-year deal with ingredients giant Roquette to lock in supplies of yellow pea protein, a main ingredient in Beyond's meat replacements. Beyond in 2018 added a second Missouri manufacturing plant and this year aims to open its first European plant, after tripling sales in its most recent quarter. Keeping the peas flowing is critical to further expansion; rival meat-replacer Impossible Foods uses protein derived from the much more widely grown soybean. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

USDA Confirms New Soybean Export Sale -- Market Talk

09:38 ET - Some 120,000 metric tons of U.S. soybeans were sold for delivery to unknown destinations in the 2020/21 marketing year, says the USDA. This news comes as China appears to be re-entering the soybean market, importing a 9.54 million tons of soybeans in December, a 19-month high. However, with the trade deal being signed tomorrow between the U.S. and China, it remains to be seen if this is a one-off sales to an unknown destination or if this is the first of many more exports to China. "Plenty of skepticism remains as to how China will actually purchase the quantities of goods that have been talked about as we head into the signing," says Doug Bergman of RCM Alternatives. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)


Livestock Finishes Higher Waiting For Trade Deal -- Market Talk

15:30 ET - Livestock futures on the CME finished higher, led by lean hog futures -- which rise 2.7% to 67.675 cents per pound. The move corrects yesterday's move lower, but still lands hog futures underwater by 5.3% since the start of the year. Live cattle futures inched up as well, rising 0.2% to $1.2685 per pound. Cattle is more or less flat since the start of the year, rising by 0.7%. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)


Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Jan 14 
 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 
Jan 14       +$ 41.30            +$ 25.14 
Jan 13       +$ 43.47            +$ 25.06 
Jan 10       +$ 41.54            +$ 20.95 
* 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  100.3 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)     Select  102.4 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Tuesday rose $2.21 per hundred pounds to $212.76, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose $2.07 per hundred pounds to $210.30. The total load count was 120. Wholesale pork prices rose 4 cents to $73.43 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
CRB COMMODITY INDEX 0.10% 195.01 End-of-day quote.0.00%
DARDEN RESTAURANTS, INC. -0.61% 116.38 Delayed Quote.6.76%
FEEDER CATTLE?FUTURES (GF) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 0.04% 141.95 End-of-day quote.-2.36%
LIVE CATTLE (LE) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 0.12% 122.4 End-of-day quote.0.12%
SHAKE SHACK INC. -2.92% 66.45 Delayed Quote.14.91%
SOYBEAN MEAL FUTURES (ZM) - CBE (ELECTRONIC)/C1 -0.17% 297.8 End-of-day quote.-0.33%
SOYBEAN OIL FUTURES (ZL) - CBE (ELECTRONIC)/C1 -1.34% 31.59 End-of-day quote.-5.83%
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