LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

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Food Distributors Hurt by Sysco's Hurricane Hit -- Market Talk

11:39 ET - Sysco falls 4% on 1Q earnings that showed a heavy impact on inflation in food prices, along with a $10M hit from hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. The world's largest food distributor saw a lost of sales from restaurants that closed from the storms, executives said in discussing 2018 results for the period. Inflation in food leapt up 4% during the quarter, particularly driven by meat, poultry and dairy. Food prices had been deflationary for a record period of months. Rival food distributors also down, including Performance Food Group, United Natural Foods, US Foods and SpartanNash. (heather.haddon@wsj.com; @heatherhaddon)

Out of the Frying Pan: In China, KFC Tests High Tech and Healthy Options

HANGZHOU, China--When Michelle Xian wandered into one of the fast-food restaurants at a shopping mall here on a recent weekday, she didn't realize it was a KFC.

The modern décor featured an open kitchen and hanging plants, and the menu included tuna-and-pesto paninis and quinoa-and-corn salads. Customers were busy placing orders via smartphone, using QR codes printed on tables, or through a facial-recognition system that matches their images to their Alipay digital wallets.

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"I don't normally go to KFC because it's not that healthy," said Ms. Xian, 30 years old, who ordered a chicken sandwich before being told where she was. "This is more aligned with new trends."

STORIES OF INTEREST

Sysco Sees Benefits in Tax Proposal -- Market Talk

13:39 ET - Sysco executives aren't banking on Washington passing sweeping changes to the tax code, but the world's largest food distributor sees benefit in the corporate reductions included in the plan under debate. "It certainly seemed like a positive opportunity for us," says chief financial officer Joel Grade during an earnings call. Grade wouldn't say if any corporate tax reductions would be passed on to customers in the form of lower prices if the tax plan passed. (heather.haddon@wsj.com, @heatherhaddon)

USDA Drops Proposed Biotech Crop Revamp -- Market Talk

12:11 ET - USDA is rethinking a proposed revamp to the way the agency regulates genetically engineered crops, essentially hitting reset on a process that already was expected to take well over a year. USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is withdrawing a proposed rule that would have provided a clearer path to market for crops tweaked with new gene editing technologies like CRISPR-Cas9, as well as plants engineered with genes from similar species, exempting them from being regulated in the same way as products modified using genes from other species. The rule met some support from the seed industry and opposition from consumer groups, but USDA says it wants a new start that will explore "alternative policy approaches." (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

FUTURES MARKETS

Cattle Futures Slide as Demand Assessed; Hogs Mixed

CHICAGO--Cattle futures tumbled as traders questioned whether demand will be able to keep pace with rising beef prices. Hog contracts were mixed.

Meatpackers over the past two weeks have paid sharply higher prices to secure cattle ahead of an anticipated bump in holiday beef demand, traders said. Some of those price increases are being handed to consumers in the form of higher wholesale beef prices.

Swelling supplies of pork and beef, and concerns that export and domestic demand could falter as prices climb, sent live cattle futures prices sharply lower Monday, the second such decline in three trading sessions. December-dated live cattle contracts fell 1.6% to $1.2532 a pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. February-dated contracts declined 0.8%.

CASH MARKETS

Zumbrota, Minn Hog $1.00 Lower At $39.00 - Nov 6

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

are $1.00 lower at $39.00 per hundredweight.

Sow prices are $1.00 lower. Sows weighing under 450 pounds are $30.00-$31.00,

400-450 pounds are at $30.00-$31.00, 450-500 pounds are $30.00-$31.00

and those over 500 pounds are $32.00-$35.00.

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 - Nov 6

All figures are on a per-head basis.

Date Standard Margin Estimated margin

Operating Index at vertically -

integrated operations

*

Nov 6 +$33.41 +$ 40.35

Nov 3 +$32.53 +$ 40.86

Nov 2 +$27.43 +$ 38.65

* 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 111.6

(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 112.0

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Monday rose $1.83 per hundred pounds, to $210.57, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose $1.69 per hundred pounds, to $194.77. The total load count was 113. Wholesale pork prices fell 24 cents, to $79.17 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 06, 2017 17:24 ET (22:24 GMT)