Frozen Chickens Could Push Poultry Prices Higher -- Market Talk

10:19 ET - Severe winter cold and snow in the southern US led to the loss of more than 1M chickens this month, but could ultimately help meat companies by tightening up poultry supplies. Chicken deaths reported this week by Sanderson Farms will largely be covered by insurance, according to Stephens analysts, who expect the positive effect on poultry prices to outweigh the losses. Other chicken companies, including Tyson Foods and Pilgrim's Pride, haven't disclosed their own chicken losses. Reduced bird counts come as the poultry market already has been rising, due partly to fast-food chicken sandwich launches, industry executives say. Wholesale chicken prices last week were up more than 48% from the same week a year ago, JPMorgan estimates. (; @jacobbunge)


Dairy Farm Troubles Continue -- Market Talk

12:06 ET - American dairy farms continue to decline, with farmers facing another difficult year as rising grain prices boost animal feed costs and gains in US milk production outstrip demand. The US has been losing dairy farms for years as the country's thirst for milk has waned, with the number of herds dropping 7% last year, according to USDA. Still, milk production increased by 2% in 2020 as farmers added cows to their barns, setting up dairy farmers for a challenging year as pandemic-dented demand recovers more slowly, according to the National Milk Producers Federation. However, the medium- to longer-term outlook is more optimistic, NMPF says, thanks to record US dairy exports and expected increases in dairy demand as restaurants reopen. (; @jessenewman13)




Famous Dave's to Introduce Line-Service Prototype in September

BBQ Holdings Inc.'s full-service barbecue chain Famous Dave's is introducing a line-service prototype in September, seeking to improve customer convenience and provide a more affordable model for franchisees.

BBQ Holdings reached an agreement with franchisee group DTSG to open Famous Dave's Quick-Que' in Coon Rapids, Minn. BBQ Holdings said last year's purchase of the cafeteria-style Real Urban BBQ inspired the line-service model.


Corn Uptick Expected to Resume -- Market Talk

11:06 ET - Even with grains futures as a whole down, the correction is expected to be short-lived, at least for corn. "We would eventually like to be sellers of corn, but do not expect the corn market to top out until sometime in the March/April time period," Tomm Pfitzenmaier of Summit Commodity Brokerage says. However, some amount of farmer selling for what old crop stocks they have left may cause some volatility in corn prices. "As a seller of corn, if you have cash flow needs, obviously these are very good prices and making a few sales at these levels would be a decision that would be hard to argue with," Pfitzenmaier adds. Corn futures on the CBOT fall 1.1%. (; @kirkmaltais)




Livestock Futures Turn Lower -- Market Talk

1524 ET - Livestock futures close out trading on the downside Friday, with the live cattle futures contract finishing off 1.4% to $1.20 per pound and lean hog futures finishing 2.9% lower to 87.15 cents per pound. Beef and pork cutouts also drop today, according to the USDA, with pork carcass cutouts falling 52 cents per hundredweight to $94.61 per cwt mid-day, while boxed beef prices also inch lower. For the week, cattle futures lose ground, shedding 2.2% since Monday. Hogs meanwhile finish 3% higher for the week. (; @kirkmaltais)



Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Feb 26 
All figures are on a per-head basis. 
Date     Standard Margin       Estimated margin 
         Operating Index         at vertically - 
                             integrated operations 
Feb 26       +$ 21.05            +$ 63.76 
Feb 25       +$ 26.70            +$ 68.08 
Feb 24       +$ 23.52            +$ 60.77 
* 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  116.6 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)      Select  115.7 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Friday rose 14 cents per hundred pounds, to $240.53, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose 94 cents per hundred pounds, to $229.73. The total load count was 59. Wholesale pork prices fell $2.01, to $92.06 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 26, 2021 17:36 ET (22:36 GMT)

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