LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

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TOP STORIES

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Tyson to Invest Tax Savings in Supply Chain, Personnel -- Market Talk

15:47 ET - Tyson Foods expects to invest savings from the US tax overhaul into its "supply chain and team members," a spokesman says, among other uses. The law signed last week by Trump reduces the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%, and Tyson, the top US meatpacker by sales, reported an effective tax rate ranging between 31.6% to 36.3% over its past five fiscal years, according to a regulatory filing. "The tax law changes are positive for us, since almost all of our profits are generated from operations in the US," a spokesman says, and the Arkansas-based company should see "significant benefit" in its current fiscal year, although the full benefit won't arrive until Tyson's fiscal 2019. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com ; @jacobbunge)

Meatpackers Piling up Poultry -- Market Talk

9:23 ET - A cautionary sign for US meat processors as the level of chicken meat in cold storage hit its highest level -- 897M pounds -- in more than a decade, according to USDA data released late last week. JPMorgan analysts question whether the buildup shows "too much industry supply versus demand," though they also note that poultry producers continue to struggle with lower-than-normal levels of hatching rates, which has constrained expansion of US poultry flocks. Investors are watching poultry metrics as companies like Tyson Foods, Sanderson Farms and Wayne Farms expand poultry production, saying that domestic and international demand merit new plants. But the chicken business historically has struggled through booms and busts. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

STORIES OF INTEREST

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Soybean Futures Climb on Argentine Dryness; Grains Mixed

Soybean futures prices gained Tuesday following reports of hot and dry weather encroaching on South American fields, potentially cutting into production of the widely traded oilseed. Wheat futures also fell, and corn climbed.

January-dated soybean contracts climbed 1% at the Chicago Board of Trade, settling at $9.59 1/4 a bushel, the highest level in a week. It marked the second straight session of gains for the contracts, which have been under pressure due to traders' bets on another big South American harvest, after farmers brought in what's projected to be a record U.S. harvest.

USDA Says 134,148 Tons of Corn Sold to Mexico in 17-18

WASHINGTON--Private exporters reported to the U.S. Department of Agriculture export sales of 134,148 metric tons of corn for delivery to Mexico during the 2017/2018 marketing year.

The marketing year for corn began Sept. 1.

FUTURES MARKETS

Livestock Futures Stage a Rally -- Market Talk

15:08 ET - US livestock futures stage a broad rally as cold temperatures help temper some of the effect of last week's crop of government-supply reports. Near-term lean hog futures continue to outperform the summer months, and the most heavily-traded February contract adds 2.2% to settle at 71.525 cents, with others positive through to the June settlement. Improved wholesale beef prices helped lift the February live cattle contract by almost 2.5% at $1.21475, and the colder temperatures moving across the Midwest and Northeast were also viewed by analysts as supportive. (doug.cameron@wsj.com; @dougcameron)

CASH MARKETS

Zumbrota, Minn Hog $1.00 Higher At $35.00 - Dec 26

Barrow and gilt prices at the Zumbrota, Minn., livestock market today are $1.00 lower at $35.00 per hundredweight. Sow prices are $1.00 lower. Sows weighing 400-450 pounds are at $27.00-$28.00, 450-500 pounds are $27.00-$28.00 and those over 500 pounds are $30.00-$31.00.

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 - Dec 26

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

*

Dec 26 +$36.14 +$ 32.80

Dec 22 +$39.11 +$ 35.36

Dec 21 +$40.21 +$ 34.05

* 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 102.5

(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 102.5

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Tuesday rose $3.04 per hundred pounds, to $202.60, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose $2.95 per hundred pounds, to $190.83. The total load count was 86. Wholesale pork prices fell $1.19, to $75.66 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 26, 2017 17:28 ET (22:28 GMT)