USDA Data on Livestock Could be Misleading -- Market Talk

12:01 ET - Global supplies of meat will be declining in the short term, M & R Capital's Scott Shepard tells WSJ, downplaying the latest Wasde report's prediction of a rise in meat production as slaughtering plants reopen from coronavirus shutdowns. Shepard offers a caveat. "US inventory and availability is peaking now so confusing slaughter with available supply can get tricky." The report also mentioned cattle are heavier after months stuck in feedlots, but Shepard says while cows are much fatter than a year ago, they weigh only five to seven pounds above a historic average. Live cattle falls 0.3%. (; @ptrevisani)


FDA Rolls Out New Food Safety Plan -- Market Talk

16:03 ET - The FDA unveiled a new food-safety agenda as the coronavirus pandemic brings never-before-seen challenges for food regulators, makers and purveyors. The 17-page "blueprint," which outlines the FDA's approach for the next decade, details the agency's efforts to use and promote technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning to create a digital system in which food is easier to trace, problems are easier to predict, and companies and officials respond more quickly to outbreaks. The FDA says the pandemic, which upended the US food system and delayed the plan's release, has made its new approach even more urgent, underscoring the need for capabilities like virtual inspections of food facilities and education on proper food handling for new players in food delivery, from the US Postal Service to Uber. ( ; @jessenewman13)




El Pollo Loco's Chickenless Pollo Is Now Vegan

El Pollo Loco Inc. said its Chickenless Pollo, a vegetarian alternative to shredded chicken that launched earlier this year, is now vegan after being reformulated in a version without egg enzymes.


Darden Gets Upgrade as J.P. Morgan Applauds Big Changes Amid Covid-19 --

Darden Restaurants stock has been hit hard by the pandemic, as the Olive Garden owner has had to close many of its locations to dine-in customers as part of local lockdown protocols.

J.P. Morgan, however, argues that the market is too pessimistic about the shares' prospects.

Analyst John Ivankoe upgraded Darden to Overweight from Neutral and added $8 to his price target on the stock, to $82. The move comes following his recent conversations with management, including with CEO Gene Lee and Chief Financial Officer Rick Cardenas, which bolstered his confidence that the company is executing well throughout the crisis.




Hogs Up as Traders Doubt Chinese Pullback From Trading -- Market Talk

15:31 ET - Lean hogs futures on the CME finish up 2.8%, closing at 51.275 cents per pound. The movement higher is partially related to a disbelief among grains traders that President Trump's disinterest in further trade negotiations with China will equate to lesser grain export purchasing by China. "Even with this news it is doubtful China will halt trade with the US, but it is possible it could be scaled back from what is being predicted," says Karl Setzer of AgriVisor. Cattle futures, meanwhile, finished 0.4% lower at 99.65 cents per pound. (; @kirkmaltais)



Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Jul 13 
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 
Jul 13       +$ 76.48            +$ 11.75 
Jul 10       +$ 78.37            +$ 15.23 
Jul  9       +$ 73.51            +$ 11.60 
* 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   95.5 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)      Select  101.2 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Monday fell $1.24 per hundred pounds, to $203.26, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices fell $2.41 per hundred pounds, to $191.88. The total load count was 119. Wholesale pork prices fell $1.62, to $67.20 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 13, 2020 17:19 ET (21:19 GMT)

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