LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES

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So Long, Hamburger Helper: America's Venerable Food Brands Are Struggling

Big Food is in big trouble.

For over a century, brands such as Kellogg's cereal, Campbell's soup and Aunt Jemima pancake mix filled pantries of American households that wanted safe, affordable and convenient food. They provided companies with reliable revenue growth from grocery shelves, and there was little reason to mess with that formula.

Today, these giants are struggling with competition that is corroding business from both ends. High-end consumers are shifting toward fresher items with fewer processed ingredients while cost-conscious shoppers are buying inexpensive store brands. The makers of staples including Chef Boyardee canned pasta and Hamburger Helper meal kits failed to spot the threat and didn't innovate in time.

Associated British Foods Jumps As Primark Lifts Outlook -- Market Talk

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0912 GMT - Associated British Foods PLC is the top riser in the FTSE 100, up 4.3% at 3,048p after saying strong trading at fashion retailer Primark has marginally improved the full year outlook. Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Nicholas Hyett notes that North America has been a bright spot, with two new U.S. stores trading particularly well. Turning to the other part of ABF's business, revenue has also grown in the grocery, sugar and agriculture divisions.(rory.gallivan@wsj.com)

STORIES OF INTEREST

Wheat Futures Sell Off; No Respite for Spring Wheat Crop

Wheat futures fell sharply Thursday, halting a recent rally even as the U.S. crop remains under threat.

Spring wheat futures gained around 40% in a month as drought conditions stressed the crop in states like the Dakotas, also helping pull other winter-wheat varieties higher.

Traders reversed course on Thursday, however, selling contracts to lock in gains. Most actively traded spring wheat futures for September delivery fell 6.2% to $7.69 a bushel at the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, while September winter wheat at the Chicago Board of Trade fell 3.8% to $5.39 a bushel.

Just Eat Appoints Former Moneysupermarket.com Boss Peter Plumb As CEO

LONDON-- Online takeaway delivery portal Just Eat PLC (JE.LN) Thursday announced the appointment of price comparison website Moneysupermarket.com Group PLC's (MONY.LN) former boss Peter Plumb as its new chief executive.

He replaces interim chief executive Paul Harrison who was standing in following the departure of David Buttress earlier in the year and will continue as chief financial officer.

FUTURES MARKETS

Hog Futures Slide as Traders Test for Top

Hog futures tumbled off their perch on Thursday as traders locked in profits on a recent rally.

Lean hog contracts at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange climbed around 45% from late April to early July, marking a 2 1/2-year high, on the back of everything from a supply pinch to strong demand for pork bellies.

But analysts said wavering wholesale pork prices this week prompted some traders to roll out of their optimistic bets, in case futures peak.

CASH MARKETS

Zumbrota, Minn Hog Steady At $57.00 - Jul 6

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 $53.00-$54.00,

400-450 pounds are at $53.00-$54.00, 450-500 pounds are $53.00-$54.00 and

those over 500 pounds are $55.00-$57.00.

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 6

All figures are on a per-head basis.

Date Standard Margin Estimated margin

Operating Index at vertically -

integrated operations

*

Jul 6 +$27.86 +$ 92.64

Jul 5 +$28.81 +$ 92.74

Jul 3 +$28.49 +$ 92.92

* 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 105.4

(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 104.6

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Thursday fell $2.53 per hundred pounds, to $220.05, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices fell $1.56 per hundred pounds, to $203.76. The total load count was 143. Wholesale pork prices fell 5 cents, to $103.49 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 06, 2017 17:40 ET (21:40 GMT)