LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

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TOP STORIES

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Food Prices Fall 3.3% in December: FAO Index

LONDON--World food prices dropped for the third straight month in December due to falling prices across all major food categories, The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations said Thursday.

The FAO's food price index decreased by 3.3% last month from November. Despite the end-of-year fall, average food prices were 8.2% higher in 2017 than they were in 2016, the report said.

Buffalo Wild Wings Expects Same-Store Sales Below Analysts' Estimates

Buffalo Wild Wings Inc., which agreed last year to be bought by Arby's Restaurant Group Inc., is expecting same-store sales for the most recent fiscal year to fall slightly short of analysts' expectations.

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The company released preliminary earnings estimates for its most recent fiscal year and said it expects between a 1.7% and 1.6% drop in same-store sales. Analysts were expecting a decline of 1.5%, according to FactSet.

STORIES OF INTEREST

Tax Plans Differ at Company-Run, Franchise Restaurants -- Market Talk

8:52 ET - Restaurant companies that are largely run by franchisees are likely to funnel savings from the tax overhaul to the bottom line and eventually return more cash to shareholders, while companies that operate their own restaurants are more likely to reinvest in their business, according to Cowen's take on the restaurant companies that presented at a Florida investor conference this week. Franchisors, Cowen added, aren't likely to give their franchisees a break on royalty fees despite the greater savings. Companies that operate their own restaurants are planning to plow savings into labor investments, restaurant remodeling and digital ordering. (julie.jargon@wsj.com)

Post Holdings Looks at Alternatives for Private Brands -- Update

Post Holdings Inc. (POST) is looking at strategic alternatives for its private-brands businesses, the consumer packaged-goods company said Thursday.

Those alternatives could include selling the businesses or taking it public, among other things, Post said. The company's private-brands businesses include Dakota Growers, Attune Foods and Golden Boy. The group earned $43.4 million and had net sales of $791.2 million in the company's most recent fiscal year.

Danone's Organic Sales to Speed Up in 2018: UBS -- Market Talk

1309 GMT - Danone's organic sales should accelerate in 2018 after a six-year slowdown, UBS says in upgrading the yogurt maker to buy from neutral and increasing its target price to EUR80.00 from EUR72.00. Analysts mention several positive elements for the company, including improving results in China. "We think 2018 will mark the first Y/Y acceleration since 2011," UBS says. Shares in Danone trade 0.7% higher at EUR69.53 (pietro.lombardi@dowjones.com; @pietrolombard10)

FUTURES MARKETS

Hog Futures Sell Off Amid Nafta Jitters

Hog futures tumbled on Thursday on concerns about the North American Free Trade Agreement and technical weakness.

February-dated lean hog contracts fell 2.1% to 70.975 cents a pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, dropping from a recent multimonth high. Analysts said that the contract struggled to stay above 73.5 cents, which indicated to some traders that prices were headed lower.

CME February live cattle contracts rose 0.2% to $1.17075 a pound.

CASH MARKETS

Zumbrota, Minn Hog Steady At $41.00 - Jan 11

Barrow and gilt prices at the Zumbrota, Minn., livestock market today are steady at $41.00 per hundredweight.

Sow prices are steady. Sows weighing 400-450 pounds are at $30.00-$32.00, 450-500 pounds are $30.00-$32.00 and those over 500 pounds are $34.00-$36.00.

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 - Jan 11

All figures are on a per-head basis.

Date Standard Margin Estimated margin

Operating Index at vertically -

integrated operations

*

Jan 11 +$11.24 +$37.49

Jan 10 +$13.80 +$39.34

Jan 9 +$17.54 +$38.97

* 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 108.1

(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 106.8

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Thursday fell 99 cents per hundred pounds, to $209.07, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices fell 28 cents per hundred pounds, to $202.95. The total load count was 110. Wholesale pork prices fell 86 cents, to $77.84 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 11, 2018 17:37 ET (22:37 GMT)