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LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS : Top Stories of the Day

11/24/2020 | 05:28pm EST

TOP STORIES

Hormel Foods 4Q Profit Damped by Food-Service Slump

Hormel Foods Corp. Tuesday recorded a smaller profit in its fiscal fourth quarter as a shrinking food-service sector during the coronavirus pandemic dragged against sales for several of the company's product lines.

The Austin, Minn.-based food and meat producer logged a profit of $234.4 million, or 43 cents a share, in the three months ended Oct. 25, compared with a profit of $255.5 million, or 47 cents a share, in the same three-month period a year earlier.

STORIES OF INTEREST

Agricultural Commodities to Rise in 2021 -- Market Talk

0914 GMT - Agricultural commodity markets are set to begin 2021 with high prices and a range of factors that are likely to see prices hike further, according to Rabobank's annual outlook report. "The fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw countries across the world stockpile goods, along with expected poor harvests due to dry weather conditions, are set to increase agri-commodity prices." It forecasts the strongest upside potential in soybeans, corn and wheat. However, Stefan Vogel, global strategist and head of agri-commodity markets at Rabobank notes that 2021 does bring its own risks. Even with rising hopes for a vaccine, Covid-19 remains a risk that is difficult to predict, while La Niña has the potential to hit crop yields across the world, he says. (lucy.craymer@wsj.com)

FUTURES MARKETS

Lean Hog Futures Sink After Yesterday's Uptick -- Market Talk

15:55 ET - Lean hog futures trading on the CME closed down 0.6%, to 66.75 cents per pound. The decline in the hogs contract comes despite the USDA data showing a drop in the amount of US pork held in US cold storage. Pork in cold storage totaled 448.2 million pounds at the end of October, down from 612 million pounds in 2019. Pork bellies had the greatest decline, going from 45.4 million pounds a year ago to just 19.7 million pounds at the end of October. Even so, traders remain nervous about continued strong export demand. "How long this demand will last is questionable as China continues to rebuild its domestic hog herd," says Karl Setzer of AgriVisor. Live cattle futures finished up 0.9% at $1.1395 per pound. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)

CASH MARKETS

 
Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Nov 24 
 
All figures are on a per-head basis. 
 
Date     Standard Margin       Estimated margin 
         Operating Index         at vertically - 
                             integrated operations 
 
Nov 24       +$ 35.54            +$ 37.73 
Nov 23       +$ 35.11            +$ 38.14 
Nov 20       +$ 34.29            +$ 38.25 
 
* 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. 
 
Beef-O-Meter 
This report compares the USDA's latest beef carcass composite 
values as a percentage of their respective year-ago prices. 
 
                                  Beef 
          For Today              Choice  104.7 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)      Select  103.7 
 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 
 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Tuesday rose $2.70 per hundred pounds, to $244.30, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose $2.23 per hundred pounds, to $219.71. The total load count was 161. Wholesale pork prices fell 19 cents, to $76.62 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

11-24-20 1727ET

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