LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES

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Americans Eating Fewer Burgers at Restaurants -- Market Talk

12:44 ET - Americans are eating fewer burgers at restaurants due to higher menu prices, according to a new study from Technomic. The decline in visits to burger restaurants was the topic of an earlier WSJ story. Technomic found that 56% of consumers say they eat burgers at least once a week, down from roughly two-thirds of consumers in 2013. They're now preparing more burgers at home as "increasing prices may make burgers a less practical option and push consumers to more affordable alternatives, especially as retail prices for burgers drop," Technomic says. (julie.jargon@wsj.com)

Chipotle Stumbles After Oppenheimer's Downbeat Outlook -- Market Talk

12:02 ET - Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) falls 2.7% toward a four-month low after Oppenheimer says it's still too risky to get bullish despite the recent sharp selloff. CMG has tumbled 20% since closing at a 14-month high of $496.14 on May 16, putting it on the cusp of kicking off a bear market. "We remain cautious, despite CMG's recent [near] 20% pullback," the firm says. "Our analysis within highlights material risk to the [Wall] Street's post-2017 earnings power thesis--a requirement to justify current valuation." CMG is scheduled to report 2Q results July 25, with analysts expecting a second straight quarter of same-store sales growth following five straight quarters of declines, according to FactSet. The stock has gained 5.1% year to date, but was still down 1.6% over the past 12 months. (tomi.kilgore@dowjones.com)

STORIES OF INTEREST

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India Supreme Court Suspends Ban on Sale of Cattle for Slaughter

NEW DELHI--India's top court Tuesday suspended for three months a ban introduced by the Hindu nationalist government on the sale of cattle and buffaloes for slaughter.

The Supreme Court approved a lower court's ruling that said people have a basic right to choose their food.

Arkansas Bans Herbicide as Farmers Blame Neighbors for Crop Damage

Crop damage from a powerful herbicide is spreading across the southern U.S., spurring a flood of complaints to agricultural agencies and sowing division among farmers.

Hundreds of farms in Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri and Mississippi have reported crops shriveled by dicamba. For farmers, lower crop yields due to herbicide damage could add to financial pressures after several years of low crop prices.

Farm Groups Warn Ross on Trade Retaliation -- Market Talk

12:00 ET - US agricultural groups warn Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross that new trade barriers to steel and aluminum imports could boomerang on the Farm Belt. "US agriculture is highly dependent on exports, which means it is particularly vulnerable to retaliation," say groups representing US farmers, dairymen, cattle ranchers and hog producers. Many nations that sell steel to US buyers are big customers for US-produced grain, milk and meat, and "the potential for retaliation from these trading partners is very real," the farm groups say. The Trump administration earlier this month missed its own deadline for finishing a major probe of steel imports, amid pushback from business groups worried about higher costs and trade reprisals. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

FUTURES MARKETS

Cattle Futures Rise on Cheaper Feed Costs

Cattle futures bounced on Tuesday as falling grain prices cut feed costs for producers.

August-dated contracts for feeder cattle, which need to be fattened before slaughter, rose 1.8% to $1.4725 a pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. A correction in corn prices on Tuesday, which have recently rallied over concerns about dry weather, helped reduce the cost of feeding the herds.

CASH MARKETS

Zumbrota, Minn Hog Steady At $57.00 - Jul 11

Barrow and gilt prices at the Zumbrota, Minn., livestock market today are steady at $57.00 per hundredweight. Sow prices are $2.00 higher. Sows weighing under 450 pounds are $59.00, 400-450 pounds are at $59.00, 450-500 pounds are $59.00 and those over 500 pounds are $61.00-$63.00.

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 - Jul 11

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

*

Jul 11 +$31.41 +$ 95.52

Jul 10 +$30.72 +$ 94.94

Jul 7 +$31.91 +$ 95.17

* 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 102.8

(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 102.2

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Tuesday fell $2.30 per hundred pounds, to $215.24, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices fell $2.16 per hundred pounds, to $200.51. The total load count was 139. Wholesale pork prices rose 27 cents, to $104.83 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 11, 2017 18:10 ET (22:10 GMT)