Commodity Costs Weigh on Brinker -- Market Talk

11:11 ET - Brinker International says commodity costs for food and beverages squeezed its margin in 2Q. The parent company of Chili's pointed to cheese and produce as drivers of expenses, just as sales fell due to tightening coronavirus-related restrictions in many parts of the country. Shares of the casual-dining company fall 6.2% to $58.69. (; @heatherhaddon)




USDA Suspends Debt Collections for Cash-Strapped Farmers -- Market Talk

1135 ET - More government relief is on the way for US farmers, as the US Department of Agriculture says it is temporarily suspending past-due debt collections and foreclosures for distressed borrowers under some USDA-administered loan programs. While agricultural commodity prices have surged in recent months, and an estimated $46B in government payments went to the Farm Belt in 2020, the USDA says that Covid-19's impact on the farm sector continues to weigh on farmers' pocketbooks. The suspension, which doesn't have an end date so far, will be available to more than 12,000 borrowers, or nearly 10% of the agricultural producers who use the USDA loan programs. (; @jacobbunge)


Indoor Dining in New York City Could Be Back on the Table

Indoor dining at restaurants in New York City, which has been suspended since early December to help limit the spread of Covid-19, may reopen soon.

The state is considering a plan that would permit indoor dining at a capacity of 25%, and "how and when you do that," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday. A decision will come by the end of the week, he said, after consultation with local health officials and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.


New York City Poised to Vote on Adding 4,000 Food Vendor Permits

New York City could soon make it easier and more affordable for food vendors to operate throughout the five boroughs.

The city council is expected to vote Thursday on a bill that would add 4,000 full-time mobile-vendor permits for street-food sellers, phased in over a decade with 400 each year starting in 2022. At present, there are 2,900 of these permits, according to the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, which is responsible for issuing them. A small number of the current permits are set aside for veterans and those with disabilities.




Livestock Finish Lower on Higher Feed Costs -- Market Talk

15:17 ET - Recent movement of grains prices higher provided pressure for livestock futures on the CME - with live cattle futures finishing down 0.4% to $1.22625 per pound and lean hog futures finishing down 0.8% to 76.3 cents per pound. "Live cattle futures felt the drag of risk-off in the equity markets this morning, while lean hog futures reflect the higher feed costs and weather-related slowdown in this week's slaughter thus far," says Arlan Suderman of StoneX. For cattle, today's close put an end to a streak of moves higher. (; @kirkmaltais)



Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Jan 27 
All figures are on a per-head basis. 
Date     Standard Margin       Estimated margin 
         Operating Index         at vertically - 
                             integrated operations 
Jan 27       +$ 42.18            +$ 37.02 
Jan 26       +$ 42.89            +$ 36.35 
Jan 25       +$ 50.14            +$ 38.71 
* 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  107.5 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)      Select  104.0 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Wednesday rose 60 cents per hundred pounds, to $229.66, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose $1.66 per hundred pounds, to $218.99 . The total load count was 121. Wholesale pork prices rose 31 cents, to $79.62 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 27, 2021 17:35 ET (22:35 GMT)

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