LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES

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U.S. Beef Is on Table Ahead of China Talks

BEIJING -- Ahead of a high-level U.S.-China security meeting in Washington, Beijing is doing its utmost to show why close trade links with China are a good thing for America, and starting with Iowa beef.

Chinese and U.S. officials are set to kick off an annual security dialogue on Wednesday that will address an impasse over North Korea's missile development and nuclear program.

Chipotle Says Marketing Costs to Rise in 2Q -- Market Talk

16:29 ET - Chipotle (CMG) said its marketing and promotional costs will increase in 2Q to up to 3.7% of sales, an increase of 20 to 30 basis points from 1Q, and that as a result, it expects its operating costs as a percentage of sales for 2Q to be at or slightly higher than in 1Q. The burrito chain, which disclosed the update in a filing ahead of a meeting with investors, has been increasing advertising as a way to lure back customers following a series of food-safety problems in 2015 that have resulted in a slow recovery. CMG said it continues to expect food costs in 2Q to amount to 34.2% of sales. For the full year, CMG said it continues to expect same-store sales increases in the high single digits and to open 195 to 210 new restaurants. CMG falls 2.3% to $448.25 after hours.(julie.jargon@wsj.com)

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STORIES OF INTEREST

Corn Futures Drop Ahead of Crop Ratings

CHICAGO -- Corn futures fell Monday as traders bet recent weather would aid the U.S. crop.

Analysts expect the U.S. Department of Agriculture to show an improvement in corn conditions in its weekly crop report Monday afternoon, with rain and cooler temperatures in the Midwest aiding soil moisture. Traders wager better growing conditions will likely limit the impact of erratic weather so far this season, contributing to large global supplies and depressing prices.

Spring Wheat Crop Quality Declines Further -- Market Talk

16:54 ET - US spring wheat condition continued to fall last week, as drought-like weather in the northern Plains stresses the crop. The USDA rated 41% of the crop good or excellent as of Sunday, down from 45% last week and 76% this time last year. Analysts had expected improvement. They say some of the spring wheat is now beyond repair. Tough growing conditions have helped push Minneapolis spring wheat futures to the highest point in almost two-and-a-half years. The USDA also says that 28% of the winter wheat crop is harvested, a slower-than-expected pace, and 49% of it is rated good or excellent. (benjamin.parkin@wsj.com; @b_parkyn)

Amid Glencore Approach, Bunge Investors' Patience 'Frayed' -- Market Talk

11:54 ET - Miner Glencore's (GLEN.LN) interest in a deal with grain company Bunge (BG) carries a whiff of opportunism, given the agriculture sector's recent challenges, but BG investors' thinning patience could work in Glencore's favor if it moves ahead with a deal proposal, according to Vertical Group analysts. "Although we believe the shares could fetch >$100, we strongly believe that at least some shareholders would accept the mid-$90s as their patience is very frayed," analysts say. Vertical Group expects BG to look at monetizing its challenged sugar business and unveil "ambitious" cost cuts. BG up 1.3%, and shares have climbed 11.5% since the WSJ in May reported Glencore's approach. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

FUTURES MARKETS

Cattle Futures Shed Recent Gains

CHICAGO--Cattle futures fell to a 10-week low on Monday as last week's softer cash prices continued to pressure the market.

Live cattle futures for June delivery fell 1.4% to $1.20 a pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the lowest close since April 6. That erased two recent rallies that pushed prices as high as $1.389 a pound. Feeder cattle futures also fell.

CASH MARKETS

Zumbrota, Minn Hog $2.00 Higher At $52.00 - Jun 19

Barrow and gilt prices at the Zumbrota, Minn., livestock market today are $2.00 higher at $54.00 per hundredweight. Sow prices are $1.00 lower on under 450 pounds to 500 pounds and steady on those over 500 pounds. Sows weighing under 450 pounds are $37.00-$39.00, 400-450 pounds are at $37.00-$39.00, 450-500 pounds are $37.00-$39.00 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 - Jun 19

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

*

Jun 19 +$14.34 +$ 75.76

Jun 16 +$15.57 +$ 74.17

Jun 15 +$15.35 +$ 72.73

Jun 14 +$18.79 +$ 73.50

* 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 109.2

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Monday fell 38 cents per hundred pounds, to $249.46, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose $1.56 per hundred pounds, to $221.36. The total load count was 94. Wholesale pork prices rose 74 cents, to $95.64 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 19, 2017 18:11 ET (22:11 GMT)