LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES

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AB Foods 1H Profit Rises 36%, Lifts Fiscal 2017 Forecasts

LONDON--Associated British Foods PLC (ABF.LN) Wednesday recorded a 36% rise in first-half adjusted operating profit, in line with expectations, and said outlook for its fiscal 2017 results has improved.

In the six months ended March 4, AB Foods recorded operating profit, before certain exceptional items, of 652 million pounds ($824.85 million), up from GBP486 million recorded in the year ago period. Sales at the company's fashion clothing unit Primark grew 12% in the interim period, ahead of the company's forecasts in February.

STORIES OF INTEREST

LA School District Bans McDonald's Fundraisers -- Market Talk

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The board of the Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation's second-largest behind New York City's, has voted to ban "McTeacher's Nights," in which teachers work behind the counter of McDonald's (MCD) and serve food to students and their families as a fundraiser for the schools. It's another blow to the fast food giant's ability to market to kids in schools. McDonald's and other fast food chains have scaled back their marketing to kids in recent years as government regulations and school district policies have placed limits on advertising, sponsorships and other promotional activities. (julie.jargon@wsj.com)

FUTURES MARKETS

Cattle Futures Rise to Year High

CHICAGO -- Cattle futures closed at their highest level in a year after prices rose at an online auction.

Futures have rallied for 10 consecutive days to close the gap with cash prices, which have been buoyed by strong consumer demand for beef.

April live cattle futures rose 0.9% to $1.27925 a pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. That was the highest close for a front-month contract since April 18 last year.

CASH MARKETS

Zumbrota, Minn Hog Steady At $35.00 - Apr 19

Barrow and gilt prices at the Zumbrota, Minn., livestock market today are steady at $35.00 per hundredweight.

Sow prices are steady. Sows weighing under 450 pounds are $33.00-$35.00, 400-450 pounds are at $33.00-$35.00, 450-500 pounds are $33.00-$35.00 and those over 500 pounds are $37.00-$39.00.

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 - Apr 19

All figures are on a per-head basis.

Date Standard Margin Estimated margin

Operating Index at vertically -

integrated operations

*

Apr 19 +$38.08 +$30.42

Apr 18 +$37.45 +$31.53

Apr 17 +$33.80 +$29.71

* 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 95.7

(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 93.5

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Wednesday rose 82 cents per hundred pounds, to $215.17, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose 20 cents per hundred pounds, to $202.00. The total load count was 120. Wholesale pork prices fell 52 cents, to $74.55 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 19, 2017 17:37 ET (21:37 GMT)