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LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

TOP STORIES

 

Smithfield CEO Steps Down After Eight Months -- Market Talk

1532 ET - It's another quick exit for a new chief executive in the meat industry. Smithfield Foods says its CEO Dennis Organ is stepping down for personal reasons, immediately handing off leadership of the largest US pork company to Shane Smith, previously Smithfield's chief strategy officer. In response to a question, Smithfield says there were no allegations of impropriety, personal or otherwise, regarding Organ, who took over as president and CEO at Smithfield in November 2020. His departure follows the early June exit of former Tyson Foods CEO Dean Banks, who left that post after only about eight months on the job. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

 

USDA to Invest $500M on Expanded Meat, Poultry Processing -- Market Talk

1558 ET - The US Department of Agriculture said it intends to invest $500M to help expand meat and poultry processing capacity in an effort to increase choice in the marketplace. The department said the $500M in American Rescue Plan funds will "provide grants, loans, and technical assistance to address concentration within the meat and poultry sectors and relieve supply chain bottlenecks by supporting new meat and poultry processing facilities." The USDA also announced over $150M for existing small and very small processing facilities to help them deal with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, compete in the marketplace and reach more customers. The announcement is part of the current administration's plan to fight monopolization and promote competition, the USDA said. (stephen.nakrosis@wsj.com)

 

Top Union Praises Biden's Meat Industry Crackdown -- Market Talk

1048 ET - America's largest private sector union applauds President Biden's forthcoming executive order tackling corporate consolidation in meatpacking and other industries. The United Food and Commercial Workers International union, which represents 1.3 million workers, cheered the order that among other actions boost scrutiny of the meatpacking industry and food labeling. "Today's action puts workers and consumers first by strengthening oversight of meatpacking monopolies that suppress wages and drive up food prices at the grocery store," said UFCW President Marc Perrone. Meat plant workers were hard hit by Covid last year, and critics have long decried consolidation in the industry that has meant a few large companies produce most of the nation's meat. (jesse.newman@wsj.com; @jessenewman13)

 

STORIES OF INTEREST

 

US Foods Hires Tech Chief in Digital Services Push

Food-service company US Foods Holding Corp. named a new chief information and digital officer amid the company's push to boost digital offerings to customers.

John Tonnison, previously CIO at technology distributor Tech Data Corp., will lead US Foods' IT infrastructure, cybersecurity and technology innovations operations starting July 12. He will report to Chief Executive Pietro Satriano.

 

Weather Forecasts, UDSA Data To Dominate Grain Futures -- Market Talk

1435 ET - Weather forecasts dominate grain futures ahead of USDA reports with supply and demand data due Monday. Allendale's Rich Nelson says rain expected for the weekend ease fears of dryness, weakening prices, but that is partially offset by unfavorable weather for Brazilian corn farms. "The question for Monday is, will the USDA stay with trend yields for corn and soybeans?" he asks, adding that estimates for Brazil's production and US corn estimates will also be important. Nelson says Monday's data could push corn prices back up. "I would suggest that corn is undervalued," he says. Corn slides 2%, wheat is down 0.5% and soybeans gain 0.5%. (paulo.trevisani@wsj.com; @ptrevisani)

 

Sainsbury's to Talk With Shareholders After AGM Opposition to Remuneration Report

J Sainsbury PLC said Friday that it will continue its dialogue with major shareholders to understand their views after a significant minority didn't support the company's remuneration report at its annual general meeting.

The U.K. grocer said 80.61% of votes cast at the meeting were in favor of a resolution to approve the annual report on remuneration, while 19.39% were against it.

 

FUTURES MARKETS

 

Soft Demand Keeps Cattle Prices Flat, Hogs Rise -- Market Talk

1425 ET - Livestock futures wobble as the post-holiday demand lull sets in for beef amid rising skepticism about a global economy still plagued by Covid-19. AgriVisor's Karl Setzer sees decreased consumer demand hurting cash markets. "A lot of what we are seeing in livestock is the simple reaction to the cash market," he says. "Cash cattle are weaker and this is putting pressure on futures." Still, prices manage to bounce back from early loses and live cattle closes only slightly lower, at $1.192 per pound. Hogs, on the other hand, enjoy stronger demand and gain 1.2% to close at $1.016 per pound. (paulo.trevisani@wsj.com; @ptrevisani)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 09, 2021 17:16 ET (21:16 GMT)

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