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LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

07/14/2021 | 05:46pm EDT

TOP STORIES

You're Paying More for Food -- And You Might Not Know It

Eating is getting costlier for Americans as the food industry faces the steepest inflation in a decade. Big food makers and restaurant chains are raising prices, cutting their own costs and trying other strategies to offset higher expenses. Between shrinking grocery-store packages and fewer restaurant discounts, shoppers are paying more for their meals whether or not they notice it. Here's how:

Higher Price Tags

General Mills Inc., Campbell Soup Co. and J.M. Smucker Co. are just a few of the food makers raising wholesale prices, translating to higher supermarket price tags for Goldfish crackers, Folgers coffee and pet food over the summer and early fall, executives said. In restaurants, the Labor Department estimated prices increased 4.2% in June from a year earlier, with Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., Denny's Corp. and Shake Shack Inc. among the chains charging more this year.

Rising costs for ingredients, transport, labor and packaging are forcing companies' hands, said General Mills Chief Executive Jeff Harmening. With consumers' savings rates higher than ever and plentiful jobs, shoppers can bear it, he said: "No one wants to increase prices, but we've had to, and consumers understand."

Judge Asks About Liquidation of Bankrupt Pipeline Foods -- Market Talk

17:17 ET - Pipeline Foods, a bankrupt supplier of organic food ingredients, said it has five potential buyers looking at its assets but currently isn't buying new inventory, leading a judge to ask if it will wind down its business absent a purchaser. Pipeline lawyer Mark Minuti tells Judge Karen Owens the company isn't buying inventory because it doesn't want to incur new obligations. At the same time, it is maintaining equipment and facilities and its 85-person workforce. "Things are fluid," he says. Pipeline says its customers cut back on product development during the pandemic, lessening demand for its goods. (becky.yerak@wsj.com; @beckyyerak)

STORIES OF INTEREST

South Dakota Has Driest June on Record -- Market Talk

12:14 ET - South Dakota had its driest June on record, according to data from the National Centers of Environmental Information released this week. The drought conditions that has introduced volatility into grains futures over the past month has clearly been felt in the Northern Plains, with Minnesota having its seventh driest June on record, Nebraska having its 13th driest June, and North Dakota having its 15th driest June. However, other states such as Illinois and Iowa had a wet month, and southern delta states experienced record wetness--with Mississippi having its second-wettest June on record. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)

Corn and Soybean Exports Expected to Turn Higher -- Market Talk

13:57 ET - Grain traders surveyed by WSJ are forecasting export sales to bounce this week. Traders surveyed say that the USDA to report this week that corn sales will total anywhere from 200,000 metric tons to 650,000 tons for the week ended July 8, and soybean sales totaling from 200,000 tons to 750,000 tons. Both of these ranges would be higher from last week's figures from the USDA. CBOT grain futures are elevated, with most active corn futures up 3.6%, soybeans 2.3% higher and wheat gaining 3.3%. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com, @kirkmaltais)

FUTURES MARKETS

Livestock Futures Head Back Lower -- Market Talk

1447 ET - After starting the day trending higher, livestock futures turned the corner -- finishing the day lower. Cutout prices for both pork and beef saw some weakness through midday, with the USDA reporting that pork rib prices had fallen over $20 per hundredweight from the previous day and pork butt had fallen nearly $12. Beef ribs also took a tumble, as did brisket and loin. Most-active lean hog futures closed the day down 0.8% to $1.051 per pound, while live cattle finished down 0.4% to 1.2125 per pound. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

07-14-21 1745ET

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
CORN FUTURES (C) - CBR (FLOOR)/C1 -0.42% 527.25 End-of-day quote.9.40%
FEEDER CATTLE?FUTURES (GF) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 -0.77% 154.675 End-of-day quote.12.18%
LIVE CATTLE (LE) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 -0.55% 122.925 End-of-day quote.9.43%
S&P GSCI CORN INDEX 0.00% 435.2941 Delayed Quote.8.78%
WHEAT FUTURES (W) - CBR (FLOOR)/C1 -0.60% 708.75 End-of-day quote.10.66%
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