LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

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TOP STORIES

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Archer Daniels, Vland to Develop Enzymes for Animal Feed Applications

Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) on Thursday said it signed an agreement with China's Qingdao Vland Biotech Group Co. for the development and commercialization of enzymes for animal feed applications.

The Chicago commodity giant said the companies will share enzyme-producing strains as a basis for the development of feed enzymes that will improve animal nutrition and health. Products developed under the agreement will be commercialized by both companies.

AB Foods Grows 16-Week Revenue as Primark Boost Offsets Sugar Fall

Associated British Foods PLC (ABF.LN) said Thursday that its revenue rose for the 16-week period to Jan. 6 after a strong performance from budget-clothing retailer Primark countered a fall in revenue from its sugar business.

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AB Foods said revenue from its continuing operations for the 16-week period was 3% ahead of the prior year's at actual exchange rates, and 4% ahead in constant currency.

AB Foods said its grocery business sales rose 1% at actual exchange rates while its agriculture revenue rose 12%, but ingredients sales fell 1%.

STORIES OF INTEREST

Blue Apron Rises on Investment Increase -- Market Talk

11:16 ET - Blue Apron shares climb after JPMorgan discloses it upped its stake to 13.8% from 11.2% previously. JPMorgan now stands as the New York company's biggest institutional investor. Shareholders will be closing watching the troubled meal-kit company's 4Q earnings next month to see if its fundamentals have improved. Blue Apron shares rise 3.5% to $3.27, after going public at $10 a share in June. (heather.haddon@wsj.com, @heatherhaddon)

Primark-Owner ABF Expects a Boon From Lower U.S. Taxes

Lower corporate taxes will grease the wheels for Associated British Foods PLC's expansion of its fast-fashion retailer Primark in the U.S., said Chief Financial Officer John Bason.

"As a place to do business, we very much welcome it," Mr. Bason said, referring to the drop in the U.S. corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. "I would say that at 35%, the U.S. tax rate was looking out of line [compared to other countries]," Mr. Bason said.

FUTURES MARKETS

Cattle Futures Rally Continues; Hogs Turn Higher

Cattle futures rose for a fifth consecutive session on Thursday.

Traders were betting that physical cattle prices would be steady or rise this week, after falling at the beginning of 2018. Market observers said that showlists of slaughter-ready cattle were smaller this week, which could force meatpackers to pay more.

Cattle futures responded to that trade by rallying to their upper daily limit on Wednesday. February-dated live cattle contracts on Thursday rose a further 0.8% to $1.2195 a pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, approaching a high for the new year. Traders said chart signals suggested to some that prices were headed higher, sparking further buying interest.

Hog futures, meanwhile, turned higher. CME February lean hog contracts rose 0.5% to 73.05 cents a pound, reclaiming some losses from Wednesday.

CASH MARKETS

Zumbrota, Minn Hog Steady $44.00 - Jan 18

Barrow and gilt prices at the Zumbrota, Minn., livestock market today are steady at $44.00 per hundredweight.

Sow prices are steady. Sows weighing 400-450 pounds are at $37.00, 450-500 pounds are $37.00 and those over 500 pounds are $39.00-$41.00.

The day's total run is estimated at 125 head.

Prices are provided by the Central Livestock Association.

Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Jan 18

All figures are on a per-head basis.

Date Standard Margin Estimated margin

Operating Index at vertically -

integrated operations

*

Jan 18 +$18.25 +$41.72

Jan 17 +$16.04 +$41.23

Jan 16 +$14.99 +$40.93

* 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 106.5

(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 106.8

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Thursday rose 39 cents per hundred pounds, to $205.69, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose $1.26 per hundred pounds, to $200.87. The total load count was 152. Wholesale pork prices rose 23 cents, to $79.81 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 18, 2018 17:42 ET (22:42 GMT)