LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES

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Hormel to Buy Premium Deli-Meat Producer for $850 Million

Hormel Foods Corp. said Tuesday it will buy Arbor Investments' deli-meat business for roughly $850 million, the latest ripple in a wave of consolidation hitting the packaged foods industry.

The Spam maker is betting that adding Columbus Manufacturing Inc., which focuses on high-end cuts of meat, to its portfolio will help the company appeal to shoppers who are increasingly looking for fresher foods that they perceive are healthier.

Growing Farms Keep Archer Daniels Midland on its Toes -- Market Talk

11:26 ET - As farmers in the U.S. and Brazil expand acreage and absorb smaller farms, grain companies like Archer Daniels Midland are adjusting to keep farmers' business. When farms get big enough they can start running their own storage and trucking operations, often cutting out local or regional grain companies that offer similar services. ADM CEO Juan Luciano says his company's railroad-linked facilities, ports and processing plants remain important destinations for big farmers looking to sell their grain, but ADM has also been developing more financial and logistics services that many farmers haven't yet started doing for themselves. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com ; @jacobbunge)

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STORIES OF INTEREST

Grains Slide on Export Woes, Growing Yields

Grain futures fell Tuesday as big U.S. yields and stiff export competition depressed corn and wheat markets. Soybeans were mixed.

Prices for wheat declined for the fifth straight day, hitting the lowest level in nearly two months. Contracts for the grain succumbed to pressure from technical selling and robust exports from Russia, a key competitor for U.S. wheat shipments. Russian wheat exports are expected to hit a record this year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, signaling to traders that U.S. wheat needs to trade at a lower level in order to win export business.

Mosaic Shares Jump on Higher Profits -- Market Talk

10:39 ET - Mosaic shares soar as higher potash and phosphate prices lead to surprisingly strong profits for the fertilizer manufacturer. Strong global fertilizer demand boosted the company's earnings even as Hurricane Irma led to 220K tons of lost phosphate sales. Mosiac CFO Rich Mack says the storm prompted a week's worth of downtime at the company's Florida plants, and cost it $35M in the month of September. CEO Joc O'Rourke attributes strong demand for Mosaic products to farmers the world over who are looking to replenish soil nutrients following multiple years of bumper crops. MOS reports a $227M net profit for 3Q vs $39M a year earlier. Mosaic is up 8.4% to $22.60. (jesse.newman@wsj.com; @jessenewman13)

FUTURES MARKETS

Hogs Futures Soar on Packer Squeeze

U.S. livestock futures surged again Tuesday as meatpackers scrambled for supplies to satisfy strong consumer demand and fill recently-expanded slaughtering capacity.

Hog futures gained more than 4% and cattle rose almost 2% to new contract highs as meatpackers accepted lower margins to secure supplies, a move that analysts said dented their financial prospects in what is traditionally the most profitable quarter of the year.

CASH MARKETS

Zumbrota, Minn., Hog Steady At $42.00 - Oct 31

Barrow and gilt prices at the Zumbrota, Minn., livestock market today are steady at $42.00 per hundredweight. Sow prices are steady. Sows weighing under 450 pounds are $31.00-$32.00, 400-450 pounds are at $31.00-$32.00, 450-500 pounds are $31.00-$32.00 and those over 500 pounds are $34.00-$36.00.

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 - Oct 31

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

*

Oct 31 +$24.25 +$ 37.75

Oct 30 +$23.07 +$ 37.42

Oct 27 +$22.79 +$ 35.60

* 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 112.7

(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 114.0

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Tuesday rose $3.12 per hundred pounds, to $206.44, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose 26 cents per hundred pounds, to $193.90. The total load count was 149. Wholesale pork prices rose 15 cents, to $77.96 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 31, 2017 17:48 ET (21:48 GMT)