LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

TOP STORIES

McDonald's Watching Plant-Based Trend -- Market Talk

14:38 ET - McDonald's is working with Beyond Meat on plant-based alternatives in markets, but the company isn't plunging into the phenomenon yet. "We do recognize that plant-based is a long-term trend," CEO Chris Kempczinski says at a CNBC business event. "These things tend to take quite a while to play out. These are not things in our experience that happened overnight." Kempczinski says a recent remark by Impossible Foods that plant-based products could become dominant in the next five to 10 years was "optimistic." (heather.haddon@wsj.com; @heatherhaddon)

Elanco Animal Health to Buy Kindred Biosciences for Roughly $440M

Elanco Animal Health Inc. has agreed to buy Kindred Biosciences Inc. for about $440 million, combining two animal- health companies, they said. At $9.25 a share, the purchase price represents a premium of 45.9% over Kindred's closing price of $6.34 a share Tuesday. Elanco Wednesday said it sees the deal as advancing its presence in the dermatology category and expanding its veterinary-clinic presence. Elanco backed its second-quarter revenue guidance of $1.23 billion to $1.26 billion and 2021 revenue guidance of $4.67 billion to $4.71 billion.

STORIES OF INTEREST

Consolidation Takes Root Among Farm Startups -- Market Talk

1157 ET - Consolidation is afoot among startups that are aiming to transform farming with data science and digital technology. Bushel, a North Dakota company working to automate grain transactions between farmers, grain elevators and crop processors, has acquired FarmLogs, an online management system for farmers, in a deal that Bushel CEO Jake Joraanstad says will strengthen digital links from farms to crop buyers. Ag-tech startups have drawn heavy investment from venture capital investors but have faced lean years in the farm belt over much of the past decade, making it tougher to peddle new services to cash-strapped farmers. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

McDonald's Says Companies Need to Pay More to Compete -- Market Talk

14:32 ET - McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski says companies need to pay more than the federal minimum wage to attract workers in a strong US economy coming out of the pandemic. "I think there's no doubt that $7.25 in this day and age is not what you should be paying or need to be paying to be competitive in the marketplace," Kempczinski says at a CNBC business event. The company is boosting wages in its US restaurants, and says it's watching what Amazon, Walmart and other companies' moves on pay are. "That's a talent pool that we're competing with, so we respond to where the market is moving," he says. (heather.haddon@wsj.com; @heatherhaddon)

Arby's Owner Promotes Executive From Its Dunkin' Unit to CFO

Inspire Brands Inc., the owner of Arby's, Buffalo Wild Wings and other restaurant chains, has tapped the chief financial officer of its Dunkin' Brands business to manage the group's finances. Atlanta-based Inspire, which was created in 2018 through the merger of Arby's and Buffalo Wild Wings, said Wednesday that Kate Jaspon is set to succeed David Pipes, who is retiring. Mr. Pipes became CFO of Arby's in 2011 and was involved in various transactions, including the deal to form Inspire and the 2020 acquisition of Dunkin' Brands Group Inc. for $8.8 billion.

FUTURES MARKETS

Hog Futures Finish Limit Down On Word Of Rebuilt Chinese Herds -- Market Talk

15:06 ET - The Chinese government's claims that its hog herds are close to being fully rebuilt after their decimation due to African swine fever weighed on CME hog futures today, with the most-active contract finishing down 3 cents per pound to $1.155 per pound--a 2.5% drop. According to China's Ministry of Agriculture, the country's hog population is 98.4% of where it was in 2017, prior to the onset of African swine fever. "As these numbers continue to increase, the chances of high US pork exports decrease," says Karl Setzer of AgriVisor. Meanwhile, live cattle futures finished trading today up 0.8% to $1.24925 per pound. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)

CASH MARKETS

Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Jun 16

All figures are on a per-head basis.

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

Jun 16       -$ 38.16            +$102.96

Jun 15       -$ 27.43            +$107.22

Jun 14       -$ 16.90            +$120.08

* 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  144.0
      (Percent of Year-Ago)      Select  135.3

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Wednesday fell $5.26 per hundred pounds, to $329.17, according to the USDA. Select- grade prices fell $8.32 per hundred pounds, to $289.96. The total load count was 141. Wholesale pork prices fell $1.98, to $118.96 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.


  (END) Dow Jones Newswires
  06-16-21 1729ET
  Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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