LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS : Top Stories of the Day

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07/17/2017 | 10:11 pm


Pew Calls for Food-Safety Improvements on Farms -- Market Talk

11:55 ET - The Pew Charitable Trusts says outbreaks of foodborne illnesses could be curbed by ensuring clean water and feed for livestock and poultry, along with vaccines and other preventative treatments. The idea is to stop pathogens before animals arrive at slaughterhouses. Among proposed measures: stricter standards for feed and water safety and better information sharing among companies and regulatory agencies that could stop salmonella, listeria and e. coli from tainting meat, which Pew estimates to have cost $2.5B in healthcare expenses annually. Such pathogens sicken 2M people each year and have forced the recall of about 425M pounds of meat and poultry from 2005 to 2015, Pew says. ([email protected]; @jacobbunge)

US Crop Quality Falls as Weather Troubles Continue -- Market Talk

16:34 ET - US crop conditions declined further last week, according to USDA data. The share of corn in good or excellent condition as of Sunday fell to 64% from 65% last week, while good-or-excellent-rated soybeans fell to 61% from 62%. The spring wheat crop--much of which farmers say is now beyond hope--also notched a percentage point decline to 34% good or excellent. The updated figures should be friendly to prices, says Doug Bergman of RCM Alternatives. Analysts say it has been one of the toughest growing seasons so far in years. ([email protected]; @b_parkyn)


Grain, Soybean Futures Start Week Lower

Grain and soybean futures fell in a mixed session as traders digested changing weather forecasts.

Growing prospects for U.S. crops are still mixed. Drought continues to harm spring wheat, while varying moisture and heat levels across the Midwest are stressing some of the corn and soybean crops. MDA Weather Services forecast rain in parts of the region this week to give way to drier conditions in its 11-to-15 day outlook.

China OKs More Seeds, But Not Enough for Monsanto -- Market Talk

10:46 ET - China biotechnology authorities clear two strains of genetically engineered corn -- one developed by Monsanto (MON) and one by Syngenta -- but 100 days after China and US struck a 10-point trade deal, China has acted on only four of eight biotech crops that it pledged to move along its regulatory pipeline. Monsanto appreciates the approvals so far, spokeswoman says, noting its corn submission had been pending for five years. But she says the company's disappointed that China has yet to act on the others: "This is inconsistent with numerous scientific conclusions around the world on these same products, as well as with the spirit of the US-China 100-day plan." MON up 0.3%. ([email protected]m; @jacobbunge)


Hog Futures Climb on Higher Meat Prices

Hog futures started the week higher on an unexpected bump in pork prices.

Wholesale pork prices rose to $1.0528 a pound at midday Monday, with pork bellies climbing to a new record of $2.1343 a pound. A number of analysts had expected prices to peak as wholesalers prepare for lower demand in the fall, but a run-up in the cost of bellies has continued to stave off a downturn.


Zumbrota, Minn Hog Steady At $57.00 - Jul 17

Barrow and gilt prices at the Zumbrota, Minn., livestock market today are steady at $57.00 per hundredweight.

Sow prices are steady. Sows weighing under 450 pounds are $59.00, 400-450 pounds are at $59.00, 450-500 pounds are $59.00 and those over 500 pounds are $61.00-$63.00.

The day's total run is estimated at 100 head.

Prices are provided by the Central Livestock Association.

Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Jul 17

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
Jul 17 +$31.56 +$ 92.70
Jul 14 +$31.56 +$ 93.67
Jul 13 +$28.34 +$ 92.19
Jul 12 +$32.77 +$ 95.69

* 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 102.0
(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 101.4

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Monday fell 30 cents per hundred pounds, to $209.05, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose 39 cents per hundred pounds, to $195.81. The total load count was 126. Wholesale pork prices fell 45 cents, to $103.52 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

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