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LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

TOP STORIES

 

Tyson Foods to Settle Price-Fixing Claims -- Update

Tyson Foods Inc. said it has agreed to pay $221.5 million to settle with plaintiff groups of poultry buyers that sued it for price-fixing claims, helping resolve a four-year legal battle over alleged collusion in the $65 billion chicken industry.

Restaurant chains, supermarket operators and food distributors have accused Tyson, the largest U.S. meat company by sales and the nation's top chicken supplier, and other major chicken companies of coordinating production and pricing to boost prices for staples such as chicken breasts, tenders and wings. Chicken suppliers have pushed back in court, pointing to economic factors they said drove poultry prices.

 

STORIES OF INTEREST

 

Restaurants Get Sales Lift from Latest Stimulus Checks

Restaurants chains say they are getting a sales bump from the latest round of stimulus money going to households, but spending patterns from the first batch of checks earlier in the pandemic suggest the lift can fade quickly.

The roughly $900 billion coronavirus aid package signed into law last month provided a second round of stimulus payments--$600 per adult and $600 a child. While the amounts are lower than the $1,200 and $500 delivered last spring, they are having an impact, at least short-term, according to some restaurant executives and industry data.

 

Danone's Investors Cheer Overhaul Request from Activist Fund -- Market Talk

0929 GMT - Investors appear to have welcomed activist investor Bluebell Capital's letter to French food firm Danone seeking an overhaul in strategy and governance, says ING, citing reports on the missive by French newspaper Challenges. "The stock price went up 2.67% and the credit curve tightened about 5 basis points, which indicates in our view that the investor community supports, at least to a certain extent, the move of Bluebell Capital Partners," says credit analyst Alyssa Gammoudy. (lorena.ruibal@wsj.com)

 

Outdoor Dining Menus Heat Up With Comfort Foods

New York City restaurants have always added a few hearty dishes to their menus come winter. But now that they are limited to serving customers outdoors because of the coronavirus pandemic, the focus on such fare has become almost mandatory, if not an obsession.

"You need stuff that sticks to your ribs," said Jeremy Schaller, owner of Hütte, an Alpine-themed restaurant on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Mr. Schaller created the outdoor establishment with the pandemic restrictions in mind and has made such comfort food-minded offerings as venison goulash and pork chops the stars of his bill of fare.

 

FUTURES MARKETS

 

Lean Hog Futures Jump -- Market Talk

15:19 ET - After declining for most of the month, lean hog futures turned higher today -- closing up 2.9% at 68.425 cents per pound. Today's gain more than makes up for yesterday's drop. Lifting hog futures up were higher cutout prices -- with the USDA reporting carcass prices as up $4.33 per hundredweight, bringing it up to $81.75 per cwt. Loin, ham, and belly prices were also up today. Meanwhile, live cattle futures closed trading Wednesday down 0.4% to $1.18875 per pound. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)

 

CASH MARKETS

 
Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Jan 20 
 
All figures are on a per-head basis. 
 
Date     Standard Margin       Estimated margin 
         Operating Index         at vertically - 
                             integrated operations 
 
Jan 20       +$ 39.73            +$ 39.31 
Jan 19       +$ 40.72            +$ 33.98 
Jan 18       +$ 45.75            +$ 36.18 
 
* 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  102.0 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)      Select   97.1 
 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 
 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Wednesday rose $1.42 per hundred pounds, to $218.91, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose 84 cents per hundred pounds, to $207.28. The total load count was 136. Wholesale pork prices rose $1.08, to $77.29 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 20, 2021 17:32 ET (22:32 GMT)

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