LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES

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Judge Clears Sale of Marsh Stores to Kroger, Fresh Encounter

A judge on Wednesday approved the sale of more than two dozen Marsh Supermarkets LLC stores located in Indiana and Ohio to affiliates of Kroger Co. and Fresh Encounter Markets Inc. for $24 million.

The deals were reached following a bankruptcy auction that included five bidders and spilled over into the early morning hours Tuesday, lawyers said. Judge Brendan Shannon of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., said Marsh conducted a "vigorous" sales process despite filing chapter 11 just last month.

JBS's Joesley Batista Returns to Brazil -- Market Talk

7:04 ET - Brazilian businessman Joesley Batista, one of owners of giant meatpacker JBS SA, said late Tuesday that he has returned to Brazil. Batista, who secretly taped a private conversation with president Michel Temer as part of a plea bargain agreement, had left the country in May. Batista says he is available to cooperate with Brazilian prosecutors. The businessman also said he had been in China and not "strolling" in New York, as mentioned by Temer in one of his speeches. (luciana.magalhaes@wsj.com)

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STORIES OF INTEREST

Agriculture Groups Call for More FSA Funding Amid Slump -- Market Talk

12:00 ET - Farm groups are appealing to Congress to beef up funding for USDA's lending arm, with demand for farm loans in 2017 expected to match or exceed last year's record. Nearly two dozen farm groups penned a letter to congressional appropriators, requesting additional funding for the Farm Service Agency, which provides direct and guaranteed loans to US farmers. Last year, record loan demand prompted lawmakers to increase FSA funding by $1.4B, and farm groups anticipate demand will be every bit as strong--or stronger--this year, thanks to languishing farm incomes. "The outlook for 2017 grain and livestock prices appears to be no better than in 2016, likely meaning FSA loans will be even more vital to the financial viability of farm and ranch operations," the letter says. (jesse.newman@wsj.com; @jessenewman13)

FUTURES MARKETS

Cattle Futures Sell Off; Hogs Inch Higher

CHICAGO--Live cattle futures fell to their lower daily limit on Wednesday as traders bet on sharply lower cash prices.

Cattle sales on the cash market have been lower so far this week, with market-ready supply growing. Analysts also say consumer appetite for beef is also peaking as spring grilling demand eases in the muggy summer heat.

Traders sold cattle futures as contracts fell through technical support indicators. Live cattle for June delivery dropped 3 cents, or 2.4%, to $1.245 a pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, hitting the bottom end of their daily trading band. August feeder cattle futures fell 3.9 cents, or 2.6%, to $1.46125 a pound.

CASH MARKETS

Zumbrota, Minn Hog $3.00 Higher At $51.00 - Jun 14

Barrow and gilt prices at the Zumbrota, Minn., livestock market today are $3.00 higher at $51.00 per hundredweight.

Sow prices are $2.00-$3.00 higher. Sows weighing under 450 pounds are $38.00-$40.00, 400-450 pounds are at $38.00-$40.00, 450-500 pounds are $38.00-$40.00 and those over 500 pounds are $41.00-$43.00.

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 - June 14

All figures are on a per-head basis.

Date Standard Margin Estimated margin

Operating Index at vertically -

integrated operations

*

Jun 14 +$18.79 +$73.50

Jun 13 +$24.88 +$73.18

Jun 12 +$24.04 +$68.81

* 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 110.3

(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 109.2

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Wednesday fell 16 cents per hundred pounds, to $251.03, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices fell 79 cents per hundred pounds, to $220.66. The total load count was 110. Wholesale pork prices rose 1 cent, to $94.59 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 14, 2017 17:46 ET (21:46 GMT)