Concerns Over Meat Supply Ebb as JBS Plants Reopen After Cyberattack

SYDNEY -- Production at JBS SA meat-processing plants in Australia is coming back online faster than authorities had expected after the ransomware attack on the company this week, the country's agriculture minister said Thursday.

Authorities hope the plants will be operating at close to full production rates by early next week, with those in the north of the country likely to be the last to ramp up, said David Littleproud, Australia's agriculture minister.

Cyberattack May Imperil JBS Meat Export Push -- Market Talk

10:58 ET - This week's cyberattack on JBS could disrupt the meatpacker's export drive, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence's supply chain research group Panjiva. In April, JBS's US meat exports jumped by 28%, Panjiva estimates, putting it ahead of rivals Tyson and WH. The incursion, which US federal authorities say originated in Russia, forced JBS to shut down operations across meat plants in the US, where the company handles around one-fifth of beef and pork processing, and hurt operations in Australia and Canada. (; @jacobbunge)


Zambeef Products Sees FY 2021 Profits Ahead of Consensus

Zambeef Products PLC said Thursday that it expects profits for fiscal 2021 to be ahead of market forecasts.

The Zambia-based, cold-chain food producer, which has a listing in London, said it expects adjusted pretax profit, profits before interests, taxes, depreciation and amortization, and profits before interests and taxes to be 20% to 30% higher than forecasts.

McDonald's CEO Reports Hiring Challenging -- Market Talk

0843 ET - McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski says the burger giant is among the many employers navigating a tight labor market, with a slow flow of applicants a more pressing problem than retention. Kempczinski points to pandemic-related safety concerns as keeping workers out of the job market still, along with unemployment benefits. Competition is also steep as employers hire at the same time, he says. "You need to be able to pay higher wages to get the people that you need," Kempczinski says at an investor conference. McDonald's recent wage boost at its company-owned US locations will help it compete with other major employers such as Walmart, CVS and Target, he says. (; @heatherhaddon)

Farmers' Costs Rise in May -- Market Talk

12:22 ET - While prices for crops like corn and soybeans have been on the rise this year, US farmers are seeing higher costs eat into their profit margins, the Federal Reserve Board says in a report this week. In the Midwest, costs for farmers are on the rise, even though higher prices have given farmers reason for optimism. "Supply chain issues are raising many producers' costs although higher commodity prices have helped generate higher incomes, maintaining profit margins," the Fed says. Overall, farm incomes rose in 2Q, according to the report. (; @kirkmaltais)


Hogs Turn Higher Along With Cutouts -- Market Talk

1443 ET - After starting trading lower Thursday, lean hog futures on the CME turned the corner, closing today up 0.4% to $1.19325 per pound. The uptick seen in futures comes as pork cutouts posted gains through midday -- with carcass values rising $2.24 per hundredweight to $131.83 per cwt, according to the USDA. Pork loins, butts, and bellies were also gainers today, although rib cutouts shed $21.78 per cwt. Meanwhile, the effect of the JBS cyber-attack appears to have been factored into prices at this point. "As the slaughter estimates from USDA showed yesterday, many JBS beef and pork plants were up and running but production was still well below capacity as they operated single shifts," says Steiner Consulting Group. Live cattle futures closed down 0.7% to $1.192 per pound. (; @kirkmaltais)


Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Jun 3 
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 3        +$ 28.49            +$126.55 
Jun 2        +$ 28.83            +$122.03 
Jun 1        +$ 21.37            +$116.42 
* 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  106.8 
     (Percent of Year-Ago)      Select  107.8 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Thursday rose 39 cents per hundred pounds, to $340.55, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose $1.28 per hundred pounds, to $313.16. The total load count was 138. Wholesale pork prices rose $2.10, to $129.93 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

06-03-21 1722ET