LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

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Pork Belly Pinch Eases in August -- Market Talk

15:29 ET - Frozen pork belly stocks in August rose from a month earlier, according to a USDA report. Supplies of bellies in commercial freezers have been low for much of this year, sparking volatility in the hog market. But the agency said that Aug 31 stocks totaled 19.08M pounds, up 8% from July but still 40% lower than a year earlier. Record-high wholesale belly prices dampened demand earlier this summer, analysts say, though they've halved since. Analysts say that's yet to trickle down to consumers, however. Total frozen pork stocks rose 4% from a month earlier, above expectations, while beef stocks rose 10%. Both were still below last year. (benjamin.parkin@wsj.com; @b_parkyn)

Brazil's Lawmakers Receive Charges Against President Temer -- Market Talk

7:45 ET - Brazil's Supreme Court delivered last night to the Lower House of Congress the charges pressed by the attorney-general's office against President Temer for alleged racketeering, in connection with the corruption probe centered on meatpacking giant JBS, which has confessed to bribing nearly 2,000 politicians and is cooperating with prosecutors. Any charges against a sitting president must be cleared by the House in a political process Temer is largely expected to win, as he did in early August defeating corruption charges in the same probe. But it takes focus and political capital away from much-needed economic reform his administration is pushing for. (paulo.trevisani@wsj.com; @ptrevisani)

STORIES OF INTEREST

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Soybean, Corn Futures End Week With Rally

Soybean and corn futures bounced Friday on strong export demand and a weaker dollar.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said that private exporters sold 190,000 metric tons of soybeans to Mexico for 2017-18, capping off a week of bumper export sales of American oilseed. Sales this week were on a near-record pace, said Arlan Suderman of INTL FCStone Inc.

FUTURES MARKETS

USDA Says Cattle Placements, Red Meat Stocks Rose in August

Feedyards last month placed more cattle in lots for fattening than expected, according to a government report, raising expectations for larger herds next year.

Cattle placements rose 3% from a year earlier to 1.93 million head in August, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said. Analysts expected a 3% decline.

CASH MARKETS

Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Sep 22

All figures are on a per-head basis.

Date Standard Margin Estimated margin

Operating Index at vertically -

integrated operations

*

Sep 22 +$44.76 +$ 25.49

Sep 21 +$44.76 +$ 26.61

Sep 20 +$49.54 +$ 33.08

* 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 102.4

(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 105.0

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Friday rose 9 cents per hundred pounds, to $191.60, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose 32 cents per hundred pounds, to $188.73. The total load count was 125. Wholesale pork prices fell 52 cents, to $72.26 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 22, 2017 17:16 ET (21:16 GMT)