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LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS : Top Stories of the Day

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03/20/2017 | 10:44pm CEST

TOP STORIES

Sonny Perdue Would Hold Sway Over Food Assistance

Sonny Perdue, if confirmed as U.S. agriculture secretary, would play a key role in shaping and implementing the $71 billion food-assistance program that has been the subject of heated debate in Congress for decades.

During his hearing before a Senate committee set for Thursday, Mr. Perdue could face questions over management of trade policy and financial supports for farmers, who are grappling with a prolonged slump in crop prices, according to congressional staff.

Brazil Seeks to Contain Fallout From Meat Scandal -- 2nd Update

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Brazilian authorities scrambled to contain the fallout from a police sting that has raised questions about the safety of the nation's meat industry, as more countries said they planned to suspend imports due to sanitary concerns.

China, the biggest buyer of Brazilian meat, along with South Korea, the European Union, Egypt and Chile took steps to ban imports from either Brazil or those companies accused by Brazilian federal police Friday of bribing sanitary officials for health certificates. Among the dozens of companies targeted are some of the world's biggest producers and exporters of chicken and beef, including JBS SA and BRF SA.

STORIES OF INTEREST

Dairy Prices Seen Stabilizing by ANZ -- Market Talk

20:18 GMT - After a poor Global Dairy Trade auction two weeks ago, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group expects to see prices stabilize this week. While NZX dairy futures point to more pressure on milk powder prices, ANZ thinks the downside is limited. Improving conditions in New Zealand suggest greater milk supply later in the year, acting as a brake on prices. "However, demand signals from Asia (China and South East Asia) remain encouraging and last week there were reports of some large bilateral deals struck by Fonterra outside the Global Dairy Trade sales channel," ANZ says. Coupled with low inventory levels, this reduces pressure to add additional product to the GDT platform over the autumn period, it adds. ([email protected]; @dwinningWSJ)

Wheat Falls to Seven-Week Low on Wet Weather

CHICAGO--Wheat futures fell to a seven-week low as traders worried that improving U.S. weather prospects would exacerbate a glut and keep prices down.

May wheat futures dropped 1.4% to $4.30 1/4 a bushel during Monday's session at the Chicago Board of Trade, undoing gains made overnight to fall to the lowest close since Jan. 30.

FUTURES MARKETS

Cattle, Hogs Slide on Seasonal Pressure

CHICAGO--Cattle and hog futures fell Monday as seasonal pressure began to weigh on prices.

April live cattle futures dropped 0.4% to $1.18900 a pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange as traders anticipated more livestock entering the market in the coming weeks.

Tighter supplies of cattle have prompted a rally in beef and cash trade prices, with packers paying feedyards handsomely for cattle as they enjoy healthy margins for their beef. But analysts say the bull market is finishing, and see little room for further gains.

CASH MARKETS

 
Zumbrota, Minn Hog $1.00 Lower At $42.00 - Mar 20 
 
Barrow and gilt prices at the Zumbrota, Minn., livestock market today are 
$1.00 lower at $42.00 per hundredweight. 
 
Sow prices are steady. Sows weighing under 450 pounds are $27.00-$29.00, 
400-450 pounds are at $27.00-$29.00, 450-500 pounds are $27.00-$29.00 and 
those over 500 pounds are $31.00-$33.00. 
 
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 - Mar 20 
 
All figures are on a per-head basis. 
 
Date     Standard Margin       Estimated margin 
         Operating Index         at vertically 
                             integrated operations 
                                      * 
Mar 18       +$24.51             +$ 40.13 
Mar 17       +$27.07             +$ 41.55 
Mar 16       +$23.33             +$ 40.81 
 
* 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   95.4 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)     Select   96.0 
 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Monday rose 33 cents per hundred pounds, to $223.76, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices fell 51 cents per hundred pounds, to $213.97. The total load count was 94. Wholesale pork prices fell 66 cents, to $80.40 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

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