LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day
Coronavirus Hits Meat Plants as Some Workers Get Sick, Others
The coronavirus pandemic is hitting U.S. meat operations,
slowing and temporarily halting production at some plants as
sickness and fear keep workers home.
Meat plant employees, working by the hundreds in plants, with
many standing side by side on processing lines, play a critical
role in replenishing supermarkets. But workers' concerns that they
could contract the coronavirus have prompted walkouts and
complaints, while a growing number of positive cases prompts some
meat companies to scale back operations.
Tyson Foods Suspends Operations at Columbus Junction Pork
Tyson Foods Inc. said Monday it was suspending operations at its
pork processing plant in Columbus Junction, Iowa, "out of an
abundance of caution," as a result of "more than two dozen cases of
Covid-19 involving team members at the facility."
Tyson also said "In an effort to minimize the impact on our
overall production, we're diverting the livestock supply originally
scheduled for delivery to Columbus Junction to some of our other
pork plants in the region."
STORIES OF INTEREST
For Grocers, Eggs Are Getting More Expensive Amid
Wholesale egg prices have more than tripled as consumers'
coronavirus-driven buying clears supermarket shelves, piling up
costs for grocers as they struggle to keep the staple in stock and
Egg prices across the U.S. averaged $3.01 a dozen at the end of
last week, compared with 94 cents at the beginning of March,
according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.
Big Restaurant, Hotel Chains Won Exemption to Get Small-Business
Shake Shack Inc. hardly seems like a small enterprise, with
7,600 employees, about $500 million in annual revenue and net
income last year of $24 million. Even so, it plans to apply for a
new government-guaranteed small-business loan.
The New York-based fast-food chain says it needs the help to get
through the new coronavirus pandemic. Many of its roughly 140
company-owned U.S. stores are in high-traffic urban areas now
largely shut down by the virus. Sales are down 70% on average, the
company said, and it has furloughed or laid off 20% of its
Hog Futures Turn Higher After Streak of Limit Down Closes --
15:32 ET - After closing limit down for three consecutive days
last week, hog futures on the CME turned a corner Monday -- rising
2.7% to 49.65 cents per pound. This is after the hog contract fell
25% last week. Even so, today's turnaround doesn't mean that hog
futures will end the week tracking positive. "The export pace is
very strong but the US demand situation is the biggest concern,"
says RJO Futures. Meanwhile, cattle futures fell 0.7% to 80.3 cents
per pound. (firstname.lastname@example.org; @kirkmaltais)
Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Apr 6
Source: USDA, based on Wall Street Journal calculations
All figures are on a per-head basis.
Date Standard Margin Estimated margin
Operating Index at vertically -
Apr 6 +$ 31.05 -$ 9.56
Apr 3 +$ 22.19 -$ 11.32
Apr 2 +$ 26.85 -$ 6.59
* 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 101.4
(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 97.6
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports
Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Monday fell 39 cents per
hundred pounds, to $230.05, according to the USDA. Select-grade
prices fell 81 cents per hundred pounds, to $215.03. The total load
count was 162. Wholesale pork prices fell 82 cents, to $57.29 a
hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 06, 2020 17:33 ET (21:33 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.