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LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

12/03/2020 | 06:01pm EST


Food Prices Hit Six-Year High on Surging Vegetable Oil -UN FAO 

Global food prices jumped in November and hit their highest level in six years, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization said Thursday. The FAO's Food Price Index, which tracks prices of the most common food commodities, rose 3.9% month on month to 105.0 points, its highest level since 2014. The monthly increase was the sharpest since July 2012. The increase was driven largely by a sharp jump in vegetable oil prices. A sub-index tracking vegetable oil prices rose 14.5% in November, led by palm oil prices, the FAO said. All foodstuffs tracked by the organization saw increase. Cereals rose 2.5%, sugar prices gained 3.3% and dairy and meat prices each rose 0.9%.


Dine-in Bans Hurt Cracker Barrel -- Market Talk 

12:01 ET - Cracker Barrel Old Country Store says new capacity restrictions on indoor dining imposed to try and slow the coronavirus is hurting sales. The Tennessee-based casual-dining chain now has 100 restaurants with closed dining rooms. Some of the restrictions have come with very short notice, forcing managers to scramble with the resulting "chaos," chain executives say in F1Q earnings. F2Q same-store sales down 20% so far this year, worse than 1Q levels. ( heather.haddon@wsj.com ; @heatherhaddon)

Farm Income Jumps in 2020 -- Market Talk 

11:30 ET - The USDA says net farm income will jump $36B to $119.6B this year, a 43.1% uptick. While higher prices for crops like soybeans helped elevate farmer income, it was also elevated by higher government payments. Government aid totaled $46.5B, a 107.1% uptick from the previous year propelled by coronavirus and trade assistance payments. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)

Fonterra Raises Forecast for Farmgate Milk Price 

WELLINGTON, New Zealand--Dairy exporter Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd. raised its forecast payment to New Zealand farmers as demand from China boosts whole-milk powder prices. The midpoint of Fonterra's forecast range for the current 2020-21 production season was lifted to NZ$7.00 per kilogram of milk solids from NZ$6.80, the company said Friday.


Livestock Futures Finish Lower -- Market Talk 

15:14 ET - Live cattle futures and lean hog futures trading on the CME both finished lower -- with the live cattle contract finishing down 1.2% to $1.12575 per pound and the hog contract down 1.4% to 66.925 cents per pound. "The market has seen choppy and two-sided trade for the last week or more as traders see ample supply but also strong beef demand," says RJO Futures, referring to movement of the cattle contract. For hogs, the market was disappointed by weak export sales, says the firm. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)


Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Dec 3 
All figures are on a per-head basis. 
Date     Standard Margin       Estimated margin 
         Operating Index         at vertically - 
                             integrated operations 
Dec  3       +$ 35.75            +$ 34.53 
Dec  2       +$ 42.74            +$ 42.91 
Dec  1       +$ 36.18            +$ 36.51 
* 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  105.4 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)      Select  104.6 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Thursday fell $1.70 per hundred pounds, to $239.19, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices fell $3.02 per hundred pounds, to $219.93. The total load count was 189. Wholesale pork prices fell $3.90, to $75.13 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

12-03-20 1800ET

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
CORN FUTURES (C) - CBR (FLOOR)/C1 2.20% 511.5 End-of-day quote.5.68%
CRACKER BARREL OLD COUNTRY STORE, INC. -1.10% 138.26 Delayed Quote.5.97%
FEEDER CATTLE?FUTURES (GF) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 -0.02% 136.525 End-of-day quote.-1.22%
LIVE CATTLE (LE) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 -0.17% 116.325 End-of-day quote.3.34%
LONDON BRENT OIL 0.11% 55.98 Delayed Quote.7.08%
SOYBEAN MEAL FUTURES (ZM) - CBE (ELECTRONIC)/C1 1.99% 430 End-of-day quote.-2.95%
WHEAT FUTURES (W) - CBR (FLOOR)/C1 2.21% 648.5 End-of-day quote.1.25%
WTI -0.28% 52.692 Delayed Quote.8.49%
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