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LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

09/14/2020 | 05:19pm EDT



OSHA Ripped Over Small Covid-19 Fines for Meatpackers -- Market Talk

10:53 ET - OSHA is taking more heat after the federal agency fined JBS USA $15,615 for failing to protect workers from Covid-19 exposure at the company's Greeley, Colo., beef plant. The outbreak led to eight deaths and infected more than 200, according to the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which says the proposed penalty, following a similar fine for Smithfield Foods, shows federal authorities refuse to hold meat companies accountable for safeguarding employees from the coronavirus. OSHA says the penalty is the maximum allowed, though worker advocates have said the agency could assess penalties for each individual worker sickened or killed. JBS's US beef and pork operations generated $7.3B in sales in the latest quarter. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)


Beyond Meat's Shares Jump on Alternative Meatball Rollout in Grocery Stores

Shares of Beyond Meat Inc. rose 5.3% on Monday, to $142.05, after the alternative-meat maker said Monday it will roll out plant-based meatballs on grocery shelves across the U.S.

The pre-rolled alternative meatballs, which will come pre-seasoned and ready to cook, will be available in large grocery chains such as Whole Foods Market, Stop & Shop, Sprouts Farmer Market, Kroger and Albertsons by early October, the company said.




Restaurants Plead for Federal Aid -- Market Talk

09:04 ET - Restaurants need Congress to pass a federal rescue package before the November recess or face waves of further closures beginning in the fall, the National Restaurants Associations writes in a letter to House and Senate leaders. "As fall and winter approach, restaurants that are still open will face even greater challenges as customer traffic declines. We simply cannot wait for the perfect solution from Congress," the trade group writes. The association is pushing for another round of federal loans for restaurants and tax credits for retaining employees or costs associated with operating during the pandemic. (heather.haddon@wsj.com; @heatherhaddon)


Reopening Restaurants in Winter Isn't Worth it, NYC Consultants Say -- Market Talk

0934 ET - Forget the heat lamps -- restaurants in New York City could be better off closing for the winter than operating at deep losses with limited capacity, two restaurant consultants tell WSJ. NYC restaurants can start indoor dining at 25% capacity on Sept. 30, but the fate of outdoor dining amid the winter cold is still uncertain. "My first advice to people is that if there's a way to pull out and liquidate your business, that's what I would've done," Vincent Vee, managing partner at Express & Discard Consulting. It is hard for restaurants that weren't previously dependent on takeout or delivery to at least break even with less than 80% capacity, says Jason Kaplan, CEO of JK Consulting. (dave.sebastian@wsj.com; @depsebastian)


McDonald's Sales Are Up. The Stock Is on Track to Reach New Highs. -- Barrons.com

McDonald's stock set an intraday record high Monday morning and was on track for its first record close since August 2019.

The stock (ticker: MCD) was up $1.9% to $222.12 and has risen 4.9% amid a five-trading-day winning streak, according to Dow Jones Market Data. Shares were up 62% from their 52-week closing low, set on March 23.

In a note on Sunday, Piper Sandler analyst Nicole Miller Regan said her firm's restaurant checks suggest sales were positive in August, "driven in part by McDonald's long-standing brand popularity with consumers as preferred quick-service brand."




Hog Futures Slip After Rising For Most of September -- Market Talk

15:25 ET - After rising 25.8% since Sept. 1, CME lean hog futures today sold off some of their gains--with the December contract dropping 3.7% to 63.575 cents per pound. For the hog contract, traders believe that they've already hit short-term highs on the strength of news that African swine fever has been found in Germany--which spurred South Korea and China to stop accepting their imports. "December hogs have already priced in a very strong export pace for the fourth quarter and the Germany news just adds to the other short-term positive fundamental forces," said RJO Futures. Live cattle futures finished Monday up 1.3% at $1.06875 per pound. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)



Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Sep 14 
Source: USDA, based on Wall Street Journal calculations 
All figures are on a per-head basis. 
Date     Standard Margin       Estimated margin 
         Operating Index         at vertically - 
                             integrated operations 
Sep 14       +$ 33.00            +$ 42.33 
Sep 11       +$ 53.58            +$ 46.20 
Sep 10       +$ 53.11            +$ 44.89 
* 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. 
This report compares the USDA's latest beef carcass composite 
values as a percentage of their respective year-ago prices. 
          For Today              Choice   98.3 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)      Select  104.6 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Monday fell $2.68 per hundred pounds, to $217.21, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose 66 cents per hundred pounds, to $207.76. The total load count was 149. Wholesale pork prices fell $1.80, to $78.76 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BEYOND MEAT, INC. 1.42% 108.62 Delayed Quote.-13.10%
FEEDER CATTLE?FUTURES (GF) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 0.13% 156.45 End-of-day quote.12.22%
JK HOLDINGS CO., LTD. -1.32% 825 End-of-day quote.-3.85%
LIVE CATTLE (LE) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 -0.04% 124.925 End-of-day quote.10.65%
MCDONALD'S CORPORATION 0.70% 241.4 Delayed Quote.12.50%
PIPER SANDLER COMPANIES 0.09% 158.91 Delayed Quote.57.49%
REACH NEW HOLDINGS LIMITED 2.00% 0.51 End-of-day quote.104.00%
S&P GSCI LIVESTOCK -1.49% 296.6619 Delayed Quote.12.10%
THE KROGER CO. -0.05% 39.3 Delayed Quote.23.74%
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