LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES

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Will Chicken Profits Come Back Down to Earth? -- Market Talk

10:45 ET - These have been heady times in the poultry business, as robust consumer demand for chicken wings and strong export sales collide with constraints on supply, like a lower-than-normal egg-hatching rate for broiler chickens. Those forces have helped boost shares of chicken purveyors Sanderson Farms (SAFM) and Pilgrim's Pride (PPC) by more than 50% each this year, but JPMorgan says it won't last forever. Chicken supplies are likely to accelerate as processors begin slaughtering heavier birds -- yielding more meat -- and meat companies deploy more egg-laying birds to boost populations, the firm says. Though chicken demand will likely strengthen further, JPM says "experience tells us it is somewhat risky to own protein-oriented stocks during periods of rising supply." (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

Corn Futures End Month With Surge

Corn futures jumped, climbing almost 4% to erase losses from the week so far.

The market gained momentum as traders got out of short positions, analysts said, limiting their exposure ahead of the long weekend. September-dated corn contracts entered into their first notice day for physical grain delivery on Thursday.

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STORIES OF INTEREST

Restaurant Group Swings to 1H Profit After Lower Exceptional Charges

Restaurant Group PLC (RTN.LN) reported Thursday a swing to pretax profit for the six months ended July 3, thanks to substantially reduced exceptional charges and improved performance from its leisure business.

The owner of the Frankie & Benny's brand made a pretax profit of 2.8 million pounds ($3.6 million) for the first half, compared with a loss of GBP22.5 million a year earlier.

Europe's Grocers Feel Amazon's Heat

PARIS--Amazon.com Inc.'s Whole Foods deal is adding urgency to European grocers' push to shift from bricks to clicks.

Carrefour SA, Europe's largest listed grocer by sales, reported disappointing results and warned it would fall short of sales forecasts, sending shares down 13%. But Thursday's miss is also part of a much broader scramble to cope with fast-changing consumer tastes and shopping habits. Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods, meanwhile, has punctuated the still-little-understood threat posed by online grocery delivery services.

FUTURES MARKETS

Livestock Futures Mixed as Hogs Climb, Cattle Sag

Livestock futures were mixed as traders searched for seasonal lows.

Lean hog futures for October rose before giving back most gains to close 0.1% higher at 61.4 cents a pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Later-month contracts were also higher.

CASH MARKETS

Zumbrota, Minn Hog $2.00 Lower At $40.00 - Aug 31

Barrow and gilt prices at the Zumbrota, Minn., livestock market today

are $2.00 lower at $40.00 per hundredweight.

Sow prices are $2.00-$3.00 lower. Sows weighing under 450 pounds are $42.00-$44.00,

400-450 pounds are at $42.00-$44.00, 450-500 pounds are $42.00-$44.00 and

those over 500 pounds are $46.00-$48.00.

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 - Aug 31

All figures are on a per-head basis.

Date Standard Margin Estimated margin

Operating Index at vertically -

integrated operations

*

Aug 31 +$38.94 +$ 48.88

Aug 30 +$38.36 +$ 51.23

Aug 29 +$37.54 +$ 51.87

* 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 97.6

(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 100.1

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Thursday rose 19 cents per hundred pounds, to $191.91, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose 22 cents per hundred pounds, to $191.34. The total load count was 115. Wholesale pork prices fell $1.09, to $83.14 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 31, 2017 17:38 ET (21:38 GMT)