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LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

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03/06/2020 | 05:30pm EDT



Cargill Getting Back to Business in China -- Market Talk

12:01 ET - Cargill says its plants and facilities have all reopened in China following coronavirus-driven shutdowns and quarantines over the last few weeks. The Minnesota-based agricultural company runs crop-processing plants, chicken slaughterhouses and financial-market operations in China, employing about 10,000 people, and its last China facilities to be closed--two animal feed mills in China's Hubei province--have now reopened, a spokeswoman says. Cargill hasn't had any employees known to have contracted Covid-19 but does have some in self-quarantine, she says. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)


US Foods Buying Smart Foodservice From Apollo Funds for $970M

US Foods Holding Corp. said Friday it is buying Smart Foodservice Warehouse Stores from funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management Inc. for $970 million in cash.

US Foods said the acquisition will be immediately accretive to adjusted earnings in the first year after the deal closes, and it expects to see $20 million in annual run-rate cost synergies by 2024, primarily through purchasing efficiencies and the expansion of private-brand products.




McDonald's Cancels Biennial Convention Due to Coronavirus Epidemic

McDonald's Corp. is canceling its biennial convention for franchisees due to the coronavirus epidemic.

The Chicago-based burger giant said Friday that it will hold a virtual meeting in place of the four-day gathering planned for Orlando, Fla., next month. Executives consulted with health authorities, company managers and store owners before making the call, McDonald's said.


Coronavirus Prompts Grocery Stockpiling in France, UK and Italy

France is beginning to face basic grocery shortages in its stores as some customers adopt "irrational buying behavior" in a response to the coronavirus epidemic, analysts at Bryan Garnier said Friday, as panic-fueled hoarding gains momentum across Western Europe.

The European investment bank said that in-store shortages in France are for now unquantified, but that sector expert Olivier Dauvers suggests a 10% to 20% shortage in Carrefour SA's pasta items, indicating a growing inclination towards stockpile shopping.




Cattle Extends Losses to End Week -- Market Talk

15:05 ET - Cattle futures on the CME continued to fall off a cliff this week -- with the contract falling 2.7% to $1.0575 per pound on Friday. That makes it 12.4% that cattle has fallen since Feb. 20 -- down 10 out of the last 12 trading sessions. Lean hogs, meanwhile, finished the day slightly higher, one of the only agricultural futures contracts to do so. Hog futures finished up 0.8% to 65.925 cents per pound -- with frozen pork inventories suggesting that even with increased Chinese export buying, US producers need an even bigger appetite to eat up the amount of production coming out of the US. "Unless the US sees additional importers show up for our pork, we could see inventory climb to a burdensome quantity," says Karl Setzer of AgriVisor. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)



Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Mar 6 
All figures are on a per-head basis. 
Date     Standard Margin       Estimated margin 
         Operating Index         at vertically - 
                             integrated operations 
Mar  6       +$ 26.32            +$  8.74 
Mar  5       +$ 25.61            +$  8.82 
Mar  4       +$ 23.82            +$  6.33 
* 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   91.8 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)     Select   92.7 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Friday rose 22 cents per hundred pounds, to $207.47, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose $1.51 per hundred pounds, to $202.57. The total load count was 103. Wholesale pork prices fell 4 cents, to $65.80 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
CARREFOUR 2.96% 14.065 Real-time Quote.-8.63%
FEEDER CATTLE?FUTURES (GF) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 0.15% 137.25 End-of-day quote.-5.69%
LEAN HOGS (HE) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 0.48% 46.9 End-of-day quote.-34.65%
LINE CORPORATION -0.18% 5550 End-of-day quote.3.74%
LIVE CATTLE (LE) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 0.28% 99.925 End-of-day quote.-20.09%
MCDONALD'S CORPORATION 2.33% 189.28 Delayed Quote.-6.44%
THE GLOBAL LTD. -0.47% 211 End-of-day quote.-55.20%
THE NEW HOME COMPANY INC. -5.37% 3.3101 Delayed Quote.-24.03%
US FOODS HOLDING CORP. 0.73% 19.98 Delayed Quote.-52.66%
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