Elanco/Bayer Animal-Health Union Clears Last Regulatory Hurdle -- Market Talk

11:30 ET - The US Federal Trade Commission gives its long-awaited blessing to Elanco Animal Health's $7.6B buy of Bayer's animal-health business. The FTC nod, which represents the final antitrust clearance, is contingent on the divestiture of products with $120M-$140M in revenue, which Elanco has already agreed to shed. Elanco says the deal remains on track to close at the beginning of August. Elanco up 2.8% to $24.14. (


Restaurant Industry Lobbies for Bailout -- Market Talk

09:18 ET - The National Restaurant Association is asking Congress to pass a $120B recovery fund, a second round of Paycheck Protection Program loans and other support as another wave of coronavirus cases forces closures. The trade group estimates the restaurant industry is on track to lose $240B by the end of the year, more than any other industry, according to its analysis. Government orders to slow the virus's spread have suspended service at nearly 100,000 restaurants, the group says. (; @heatherhaddon)


Chipotle to Hire 10,000 Employees as it Adds Drive-Through Lanes -- 3rd Update

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. said it is adding as many as 10,000 employees as it opens more stores with drive-through lanes for digital orders, another example of how restaurants are adjusting to changes in customer behavior tied to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chipotle expects more than 60% of new stores that it opens will include drive-through lanes, which are strictly for picking up orders placed in advance online. The company said restaurants with what it calls "Chipotlanes" require more staff than its traditional restaurants. Chipotle had 83,000 employees as of the end of last year.




Microsoft Partners With Land O'Lakes on Agriculture Technology -- Market Talk

0934 ET - Microsoft and butter maker Land O'Lakes say they are working together on agriculture technology that would help farmers act toward ideal growth conditions and lower farm carbon footprint. Land O'Lakes will move most of its IT infrastructure to Microsoft Azure, according to the companies. The companies will also work on helping dairy producers get insights on weather, feed management and animal health through sensors and third-party applications. The technology suite will also help farmers predict the carbon benefits of practices like no-till farming and planting of cover crops. (; @depsebastian)


Tensions With China Back in Focus For Grains -- Market Talk

09:25 ET - President Trump's signing of sanctions against China to punish it for actions against Hong Kong is ratcheting tensions between the two nations -- which combined with recent comments by the President casting doubt that a second phase of a trade agreement will be reached has grain traders on edge. "Tensions are high between the US/China and traders will remain nervous that either Trump or Xi pulls their support from the Phase 1 deal as political retaliation," says AgResource. However, the USDA announced this morning that China has purchased 389,000 metric tons of US soybeans and 132,000 tons of corn for 2020/21 delivery - which should assuage these concerns, at least temporarily. (; @kirkmaltais)




Livestock Futures Finish Trading With Gains -- Market Talk

15:36 ET - Livestock futures on the CME end higher Wednesday, with most-active live cattle futures up 2.5% at $1.013 per pound--their highest close in over four months. Meanwhile, hog futures rise 0.5% to 50.15 cents per pound. For cattle, much of the uptick is attributed to fewer cattle coming onto the slaughter market, although for now it will still take time for meatpackers to work through the high amounts of backed-up animal inventory, says Steiner Consulting. (; @kirkmaltais)



Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Jul 15 
All figures are on a per-head basis. 
Date     Standard Margin       Estimated margin 
         Operating Index         at vertically - 
                             integrated operations 
Jul 15       +$ 72.91            +$ 14.03 
Jul 14       +$ 69.81            +$  9.68 
Jul 13       +$ 76.48            +$ 11.75 
* 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   94.3 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)      Select  101.2 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Wednesday fell 16 cents per hundred pounds, to $200.76, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose 52 cents per hundred pounds, to $191.37. The total load count was 151. Wholesale pork prices rose $2.02, to $68.26 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 15, 2020 17:26 ET (21:26 GMT)

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