LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES

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Venezuela Imports of US Dairy Plunge -- Market Talk

16:08 ET - Venezuelan imports of US dairy products could drop to zero this year given political and economic turmoil in the country, predicts Nate Donnay, dairy market director at INTL FCStone. The country was once the sixth biggest importers of US dairy products, but has now dropped to the 38th. "It's a big hit on the demand side and it's probably not going to turn around anytime soon," Donnay tells those gathered at an annual dairy outlook conference in Chicago. (heather.haddon@wsj.com)

Politics Could Lead Mexico to Squeeze US on Dairy -- Market Talk

16:01 ET - Mexico has previously been retaliatory against US dairy interests when it comes to policies it doesn't favor, and it could do so again given political turmoil between the countries during the Trump administration, says Thomas M. Suber, former president of the US Dairy Export Council, during an annual dairy outlook conference in Chicago. That leaves US producers vulnerable given Mexico is the leading foreign buyer of US dairy products. "Mexico's dominance isn't unwelcome but it's very scary given the political dynamics," Suber says. "You put your biggest market smack dap in the crosshairs of retaliation." (heather.haddon@wsj.com; @heatherhaddon)

World Food Prices Up 2.2% in May Due to Rising Cereal, Vegetable Oil Prices

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LONDON--World food prices rose in May due to more expensive cereal, vegetable oil, and dairy prices, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization said Thursday.

The FAO's food price index increased by 2.2% last month from April, up 10% on its May 2016 level.

STORIES OF INTEREST

Business Partners Back Away From JBS Amid Bribery Scandal

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Brazilian meat giant JBS is facing a backlash from its business partners after admitting to bribing nearly 2,000 politicians in exchange for subsidized financing that helped turn the company into the world's largest meatpacker.

A slew of restaurants and supermarket chains in Brazil have either stopped purchasing JBS products or said they are considering doing so. Banks have tightened lending standards for the company. And the Brazilian state-controlled oil company, Petróleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, canceled a natural-gas supply contract Thursday with a power plant owned by JBS's holding company, J&F Investimentos. Citing the violation of an antibribery clause, Petrobras said it seeks about $21 million in redress.

FUTURES MARKETS

CHICAGO--Cattle futures were mixed on Thursday as traders reckoned with a bumpy start to the week's cash market.

Traders are still processing a sharp reversal on Tuesday that saw cattle futures drop on weak technical indicators even as beef prices and other signs of demand were strong.

Live cattle futures for June delivery closed 0.1% higher at $1.31375 a pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Feeder cattle futures, which derive from herds that are still being fattened, fell. CME August contracts dropped 0.6% to $1.5395 cents a pound, with a rally in corn futures making the grain needed to feed those cattle considerably more expensive for producers.

CASH MARKETS

Zumbrota, Minn Hog Steady At $48.00 - Jun 8

Barrow and gilt prices at the Zumbrota, Minn., livestock market today are steady at $48.00 per hundredweight.

Sow prices are steady. Sows weighing under 450 pounds are $35.00-$37.00, 400-450 pounds are at $35.00-$37.00, 450-500 pounds are $35.00-$37.00 and those over 500 pounds are $39.00-$41.00.

The day's total run is estimated at 150 head.

Prices are provided by the Central Livestock Association.

Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Jun 8

All figures are on a per-head basis.

Date Standard Margin Estimated margin

Operating Index at vertically -

integrated operations

*

Jun 8 +$24.73 +$67.16

Jun 7 +$21.80 +$63.48

Jun 6 +$22.23 +$62.21

* 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 111.6

(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 109.4

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Thursday fell 32 cents per hundred pounds, to $250.39, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose 11 cents per hundred pounds, to $220.01. The total load count was 124. Wholesale pork prices rose $1.71, to $91.64 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 08, 2017 17:36 ET (21:36 GMT)