Kroger Comparable Store Sales Top Views -- Market Talk

0831 ET - Kroger says its same-store sales grew 10.6% in 4Q, beating estimates. This is in line with the increase from the prior quarter, when it posted 10.9% in sales growth. The Cincinnati-based supermarket chain reported a loss of $77M, compared with a profit of $327M the previous year. On an adjusted basis, it generated earnings of 81 cents per share. Digital sales more than doubled for the latest quarter. Shares rise 1.3% premarket. (; @_jaewonkang)


Global Food Prices Rise for Ninth Consecutive Month, UN's FAO Says

Global food prices continued their long-running rise in February, driven by strong demand for basic foodstuffs and supply constraints, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization said Thursday.

The FAO's Food Price Index, which tracks the cost of a basket of basic foodstuffs, rose 2.4% to 116.0 from January. That was the index's ninth consecutive monthly gain, and its highest level since mid-2014.


McDonald's Will Keep Mask Requirement -- Market Talk

13:34 ET - McDonald's isn't altering its coronavirus-safety protocol in Texas and Mississippi as those states suspend mask requirements and allow restaurants to open at full capacity. The burger chain says it's not planning on opening dining rooms currently closed for seating, or allow customers and workers to forgo masks. "We will continue to assess positivity and case rates market by market to inform our decision making," the company says. Starbucks is also keeping mask mandates in place despite the loosening rules. (; @heatherhaddon)




Mondelez in Favor of New Federal Plastics Recycling Policy

Mondelez International Inc. on Thursday said it was in favor of a "reasonable" new federal recycling policy focused in part on the kind of plastic wraps it uses to package its Oreos and a number of its other snacks.

Such flexible films are commonly used by consumer-product manufacturers as packaging. But they aren't easy to reuse once consumers are done with them.


U.S. Suspends Tariffs on Scotch, Cheese and Other Products From U.K.

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. temporarily suspended tariffs on Scotch, cheese, cashmere sweaters and other consumer imports from the U.K. on Thursday as the nations work to resolve a longstanding trade dispute over commercial-aircraft subsidies.

The decision to suspend the 25% duties was announced in a joint statement by both governments, and follows the U.K.'s decision that took effect Jan. 1 to lift duties on products including U.S. rum, brandy and vodka.


Fonterra Raises Forecast Payment to New Zealand Dairy Farmers

WELLINGTON, New Zealand--Dairy producer Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd. raised its forecast payment to New Zealand farmers for their current production season, reflecting strong demand from China.

The world's largest exporter of whole milk powder said the midpoint of its forecast range for the 2020-21 season is now 7.60 New Zealand dollars (US$5.46) per kilogram of milk solids, up from NZ$7.20.




Livestock Futures Finish Lower -- Market Talk

1535 ET - Livestock futures trading on the CME closed lower -- with live cattle futures dropping 0.7% to $1.1855 per pound and lean hog futures down 0.7% to 87.3 cents per pound. Movement in cutout demand and prices influenced the drop for both futures contracts, says Arlan Suderman of StoneX. "The lead April live cattle contract was stagnant today, reflecting the stagnation of the cash market again this week," says Suderman. "[Hog future] buying was limited by significant losses in cutout on Wednesday that eroded away packer margins." (; @kirkmaltais)



Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Mar 4 
All figures are on a per-head basis. 
Date     Standard Margin       Estimated margin 
         Operating Index         at vertically - 
                             integrated operations 
Mar  4       +$  7.37            +$ 65.27 
Mar  3       +$  5.01            +$ 59.38 
Mar  2       +$ 16.88            +$ 67.76 
* 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  113.2 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)      Select  109.4 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Thursday rose 85 cents per hundred pounds, to $233.88, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices fell $2.56 per hundred pounds, to $221.68. The total load count was 127. Wholesale pork prices rose $2.74, to $92.76 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 04, 2021 17:46 ET (22:46 GMT)

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