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LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

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06/02/2020 | 05:58pm EDT



Cracker Barrel Sees Some Demand Improvement As Dining Rooms Reopen -- Market Talk

0905 ET - Sales declines at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store locations have moderated of late, making the family style chain the latest to report some demand is coming back as dining rooms reopen with limited capacity following coronavirus-prompted shutdowns earlier this year. Sales are still well below where they were last year, however, illustrating the challenges restaurant companies face. Cracker Barrel says comparable-restaurant sales for the week that ended May 8 were off 74% compared with last year, improving to a decline of 45% for the week that ended May 29. Tex-mex chain Chuy's Holdings said yesterday that its comparable-restaurant sales were down 61% for the week that ended April 5 and 31% for the week that ended May 24. (micah.maidenberg@wsj.com; @MicahMaidenberg)




Wheat Futures Slip as Rainfall Returns to Eastern Europe

Wheat for July delivery fell 1.4% to $5.08 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade on Tuesday, amid evidence that crops in Ukraine and Russia are receiving some much-needed rain and are looking larger than anticipated.

Corn for July delivery rose 0.3% to $3.24 1/4 a bushel.

Soybeans for July delivery rose 1.2% to $8.50 1/2 a bushel.


USD Slide Positive For Grains -- Market Talk

11:20 ET - Recent weakness in the US dollar, due in part to civil unrest seen across the country, has provided support for grains futures today, as a weaker dollar makes US grain exports more competitive for overseas business. "The US Dollar has extended its slide and this morning has reached to the lowest level traded since mid-March," says Dan Hueber of the Hueber Report. "Do keep in mind that this just returns our currency to levels we traded at throughout much of 2019, but long-term charts give the impression that there should be more weakness ahead." If the USD Index on the Intercontinental Exchange finishes lower today, it'll be the sixth straight session that it has lost ground. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)


USDA Confirms China Soybean Purchase -- Market Talk

09:56 ET - The USDA has confirmed that China has purchased more soybeans from the US, releasing a notice Tuesday saying that 132,000 metric tons of US soybeans have been purchased for shipment to China in the 2020/21 marketing year. This confirms reports yesterday that Chinese buyers had purchased US soybean cargos despite ratcheted-up tensions between the two sides. Even so, CBOT soybean futures appear to have already priced in a new Chinese purchase, with the July contract up 0.5% so far this morning - the same as it was before the market opened Tuesday. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)




Livestock Futures Finish Lower -- Market Talk

15:12 ET - Livestock futures on the CME finish lower, with a resurgence in livestock slaughters in response to meatpacking plants being open pressuring prices. "Meat processing plants are starting to come back on-line across the United States," says AgriVisor. "As they do, the processing rates for the United States are obviously rising as well." With slaughters trending higher to meet that demand, livestock futures are dropping. August live cattle futures finished trading down 2.8% at 96.2 cents per pound, while July lean hog futures down 0.5% to 54.875 cents per pound. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)



Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Jun 2 
 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 
Jun  2       +$ 77.96            +$ 25.59 
Jun  1       +$ 94.19            +$ 40.23 
May 29       +$102.28            +$ 54.66 
* 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  142.8 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)     Select  140.5 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Tuesday fell $22.42 per hundred pounds, to $318.73, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices fell $26.25 per hundred pounds, to $290.58. The total load count was 127. Wholesale pork prices fell $6.81, to $73.64 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AMP LIMITED 0.57% 1.755 End-of-day quote.-8.36%
CORN FUTURES (C) - CBR (FLOOR)/C1 -2.54% 326.25 End-of-day quote.-13.67%
CRACKER BARREL OLD COUNTRY STORE, INC. 9.75% 111.04 Delayed Quote.-27.77%
FEEDER CATTLE?FUTURES (GF) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 0.29% 139.825 End-of-day quote.-4.06%
INTERCONTINENTAL EXCHANGE, INC. 1.66% 93.24 Delayed Quote.0.75%
LETS HOLDINGS GROUP CO., LTD. -4.13% 10.9 End-of-day quote.80.46%
LIVE CATTLE (LE) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 0.49% 101.8 End-of-day quote.-18.77%
LOOK HOLDINGS INCORPORATED 3.42% 726 End-of-day quote.-42.01%
SOYBEAN MEAL FUTURES (ZM) - CBE (ELECTRONIC)/C1 0.25% 285.9 End-of-day quote.-5.40%
SOYBEAN OIL FUTURES (ZL) - CBE (ELECTRONIC)/C1 1.30% 28.83 End-of-day quote.-18.90%
THE EASTERN COMPANY 6.03% 17.77 Delayed Quote.-41.80%
THE NEW HOME COMPANY INC. 0.30% 3.4 Delayed Quote.-27.04%
US DOLLAR / RUSSIAN ROUBLE (USD/RUB) 0.07% 70.881 Delayed Quote.14.70%
WHEAT FUTURES (W) - CBR (FLOOR)/C1 4.95% 550.75 End-of-day quote.-6.09%
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