LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES

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Cargill Folds UK Chicken Unit into New Venture -- Market Talk

10:24 ET - Consolidation continues among European poultry suppliers as agribusiness conglomerate Cargill says it will combine its UK fresh chicken operations with the poultry business of Faccenda Foods to create an as-yet unnamed venture in which both firms will own an equal stake. CEO of the new company, Andy Dawkins, comes from Faccenda Foods -- like Cargill, a family-owned company -- and Cargill's European fresh chicken director Chris Hall will join the 6,000 person venture as chief commercial officer. Earlier in September US chicken company Pilgrim's Pride agreed to buy UK-based chicken processor Moy Park for $1.3B, extending its reach into the EU, the world's third-largest chicken market by consumption. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

Corn Goes from Farm Fields to Battlefields -- Market Talk

14:28 ET - The corn industry's ongoing quest to refine the most widely grown US crop into more industrial and consumer products has led farmers to the gun business. The National Corn Growers Association says it's investing with Missouri-based gun oil supplier QMaxx Products Group to develop corn-based gun oil for cleaning, lubricating and protecting firearms, which QMaxx expects to eventually submit for US Army analysis. The NCGA acknowledges any corn-based gun oil market will likely translate to just a "modest" increase in additional corn demand, but says there are other potential applications of the same base product. Corn's previously been processed to make foam packaging, carpet fibers and kitty litter. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

STORIES OF INTEREST

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Can Queso Save Chipotle? -- Market Talk

11:48 ET - Chipotle's new queso boosted traffic in the first week of its national rollout on Sept. 12, but the gain from the cheesy dipping sauce was short-lived, Cowen found. The investment firm compared Facebook check-ins at Chipotle following the launch with check-ins in the weeks leading up to it and saw that check-ins returned to normal levels in the second week. The number of check-ins following the queso launch were only 4% higher than the level averaged for the first 16 days of 3Q prior to a norovirus incident on July 17. Concluded Cowen: "We do not expect queso to be a sustainable sales driver." (julie.jargon@wsj.com)

Kroger Goes After Whole Foods Suppliers -- Market Talk

10:11 ET - Kroger launched a website allowing local suppliers to pitch niche products directly to buyers at the grocer's 2,800 stores, a response to rival Whole Foods Market's moves to be more conventional. Executives at the largest US grocer plan to expand the offering in an effort to lure any Whole Foods shoppers dissatisfied following its recent takeover by Amazon. The market value of Kroger and other retailers has been pinched by Amazon's foray into the grocery business. (heather.haddon@wsj.com; @heatherhaddon)

FUTURES MARKETS

Cattle Futures Fall on Higher Supply Outlook

Cattle futures tumbled Monday on expectations of higher supplies early next year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Friday that feeders placed 3% more cattle in lots for fattening in August than a year earlier, while analysts had expected the rate of placements to fall by 3%.

CASH MARKETS

Zumbrota, Minn Hog $2.00 Lower At $31.00 - Sep 25

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

are $2.00 lower at $31.00 per hundredweight.

Sow prices are mixed. Sows weighing under 450 pounds are $27.00-$28.00,

400-450 pounds are at $27.00-$28.00, 450-500 pounds are $27.00-$28.00

and those over 500 pounds are $29.00-$30.00.

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 - Sep 25

All figures are on a per-head basis.

Date Standard Margin Estimated margin

Operating Index at vertically -

integrated operations

*

Sep 25 +$48.87 +$ 27.19

Sep 22 +$44.76 +$ 25.49

Sep 21 +$44.76 +$ 26.61

* 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 103.5

(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 106.3

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Monday rose $2.36 per hundred pounds, to $193.96, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose $2.16 per hundred pounds, to $190.89. The total load count was 86. Wholesale pork prices rose $79 cents, to $73.05 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 25, 2017 17:25 ET (21:25 GMT)