Strong Pork Export Sales for 2019 and 2020 -- Market Talk

09:07 ET - Export sales of US pork totaled 54,400 metric tons for 2019, the USDA says--well up from the previous week. For 2020, the USDA reports 36,400 tons of pork were sold, with 34,300 tons of that heading to China--likely a bullish indicator for CME hog futures today. However, for 2019, China is seen as purchasing only 5,200 tons. Japan is reported as purchasing 21,500 tons--a higher-than-usual amount for the nation. (; @kirkmaltais)


Bumble Bee Files for Bankruptcy With $925 Million Offer From Taiwan's FCF -- Update

Bumble Bee Foods LLC, one of the nation's largest canned tuna providers, filed for bankruptcy protection Thursday with an agreement to sell its assets to Taiwan's FCF Fishery Co. for roughly $925 million.

San Diego-based Bumble Bee, owned by London-based private-equity firm Lion Capital, said that a chapter 11 process will help facilitate the sale to FCF as well as "reduce its debt burden caused by recent and significant legal challenges."




Kroger Dials Back Overhaul as Sales Sputter

Kroger Co. is turning back to the basics of selling groceries after trying to sell too many new products and renovate too many stores at once.

The biggest U.S. supermarket chain is planning to refurbish stores at a slower pace so that it can keep more stores fully operational. Kroger laid off nearly a thousand managers and other employees last month to cut costs. A new marketing campaign and some operational changes are meant to put the focus back on driving up sales of the groceries that generate about 75% of its sales.


McDonald's Sued by Chicago Workers for Increased Risk of Violence -- Update

A group of Chicago-area McDonald's Corp. (MCD) workers sued the fast-food chain on Thursday, accusing it of not doing enough to protect employees against violent incidents at its restaurants.

The lawsuit alleges that McDonald's stores open overnight lack certain safety best practices for late-night businesses. The complaint argues the stores should have physical barriers between workers and customers and that drive-thru windows should be designed to prevent customers from being able to enter through the window.




Hogs Post Mild Recovery -- Market Talk

16:17 ET - Lean hog futures on the CME finish 1% higher for the day, closing at 67.45 cents per pound. While it's a reversal from yesterday's 4% drop, hogs started the day trading nearly 2.5% higher. Backtracking came as traders grew increasingly mistrustful of today's USDA export sales report, which showed 54,400 metric tons of pork sold for 2019. "The problem is that these numbers are a bit misleading when once again, a number of these sales and shipments were late reports," says Craig VanDyke of Top Third Ag Marketing. "So in reality these numbers could have occurred anytime between January 1st and last week." Meanwhile, cattle futures fell 0.3%. (; @kirkmaltais)



Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Nov 21 
All figures are on a per-head basis. 
Date     Standard Margin       Estimated margin 
         Operating Index         at vertically - 
                             integrated operations 
Nov 21       +$ 76.69            +$ 43.14 
Nov 20       +$ 88.37            +$ 54.99 
Nov 19       +$ 85.42            +$ 51.59 
* 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  109.9 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)     Select  107.9 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Thursday fell $3.35 per hundred pounds, to $234.86, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices fell 91 cents per hundred pounds, to $213.86. The total load count was 127. Wholesale pork prices fell $5.51, to $80.47 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 21, 2019 17:43 ET (22:43 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.