LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

TOP STORIES

Bunge Sees Signs of Improvement in China Hogs -- Market Talk

0857 ET - Executives of agriculture conglomerate Bunge say there are reasons to hope that China is getting past the African swine fever outbreak that's estimated to have led to the culling of hundreds of millions of hogs in the world's top pork-producing nation. Bunge CEO Greg Heckman says that China's sow population has rebounded by about 2%, a necessary step for rebuilding herds there, and feed demand is improving, important for Bunge's business supplying ingredients like soybean meal. "We hope the worst is in," Heckman says. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

Bunge Sets 2020 Outlook, Expects Lower Agribusiness Results

Bunge Ltd. Wednesday set its financial outlook for 2020, with results in its agribusiness results expected to be down from the year-ago period.

The White Plains, N.Y., trader and processor of crops said U.S.-China trade agreements and crop sizes will determine origination, processing and distribution margins.

The company said it expects full-year per-share earnings to be largely in line with 2019, excluding items such as gain on its stake in Beyond Meat Inc. and the depreciation benefit in the sugar and bioenergy segment.

STORIES OF INTEREST

CKE Reunites Marketing for Carl's Jr and Hardee's -- Market Talk

0722 ET - Two years after CKE Restaurants began separating its marketing for Carl's Jr. and Hardee's, a move meant to let each burger chain speak better to its own core customers and geographic footprint, the company is reversing course. CKE is launching a national ad campaign that reunites the Carl's Jr. and Hardee's brands, now calculating that it can boost consumer awareness of both brands better when they work together. The turnaround comes amid fierce competition in the restaurant business and systemwide sales declines at Carl's Jr. and Hardees while competitors as a group grew. " We've had a bit of a fragmented approach the past two years, which has had some variability of impact," said Chad Crawford, who was named chief brand officer at CKE last fall. (nat.ives@wsj.com)

Corn Traders Hope Strong Ethanol Figures Not a One-Off -- Market Talk

1017 ET - Tuesday's WASDE report from the USDA showed forecast 50 million more bushels of corn being used for ethanol, good news for those wanting to see higher ethanol consumption of corn in the US. Turning attention to today's weekly ethanol production report from the EIA, traders hope to see higher levels of ethanol production sustained this week. " The hope is that this week's numbers will be solid as well and that last week was not just a one-off week," says Tomm Pfitzenmaier of Summit Commodity Brokerage. Ethanol production rose to 1.081M barrels per day in the EIA's previous report. So far today, corn futures on the CBOT are up 0.7%. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)

FUTURES MARKETS

Cattle Prices Rise While Hogs Extend Losses -- Market Talk

15:34 ET - Livestock futures on the CME finished the day mixed -- with live cattle futures finishing 0.6% higher at $ 1.1785 per pound, while lean hog futures fell 0.7% at 63.775 per pound. For hogs, it's the third session in a row that hog futures fell, making it now 3.7% that the April contract has fallen this week. This comes as data show that the domestic pork market will remain well-supplied through the rest of the year. For cattle, Wednesday's close maintains the April contract at a level last seen in October. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)

CASH MARKETS

Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Feb 12

All figures are on a per-head basis.

Date     Standard Margin       Estimated margin
         Operating Index         at vertically -
                             integrated operations

Feb 12       +$ 25.43            +$  2.57
Feb 11       +$ 24.08            +$  2.39
Feb 10       +$ 26.27            +$  5.32

* 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   95.0
      (Percent of Year-Ago)     Select   96.4

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Wednesday fell $1.52 per hundred pounds, to $206.31, according to the USDA. Select- grade prices rose 77 cents per hundred pounds, to $205.30. The total load count was 124. Wholesale pork prices rose 8 cents, to $62.93 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.


  (END) Dow Jones Newswires
  02-12-20 1747ET
  Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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