Fresh Food And Protein May Have 'Sustained Demand' -- Market Talk

16:07 ET - If schools and restaurants are closed for at least 30 days, consumers will spend an additional $52B on food they can prepare and eat at home in 2020, UBS analysts estimate. That would represent a 5% year-over-year increase in spending for grocery and food products for the home, bolstering retailers and manufacturers. Meanwhile, spending on food at restaurants and other facilities would drop by 7.3% under this scenario. "The longer restaurants stay closed, we would expect categories such as fresh food and proteins to experience sustained demand," the UBS analysts say. (; @MicahMaidenberg)


McDonald's Halts Drive-Through and Takeaway Services in UK and Ireland

McDonald's Corp. is halting drive-through and other takeout services in the U.K. and Ireland, while closing its restaurants in the region entirely, due to concerns over social distancing.

The move was unexpected, and highlights the challenge restaurants face in continuing to offer to-go options amid the coronavirus pandemic.




KFC Owner Yum Says Stores in China Have Begun Reopening after Closures Peaked in February

Yum China Holdings Inc., which operates KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell in China, said about 95% of its stores have either partially or fully reopened as reported cases of the novel coronavirus in the country slow down.

The company, a licensee of Yum! Brands Inc., on Monday said 10% to 20% of open stores only offer delivery and takeaway service, while others are operating with reduced hours. Store traffic remains well below pre-outbreak levels but is recovering slowly, the company said.


Food Supply Among the Industries Increasing Hiring -- Market Talk

1359 ET - Food supply-chain companies are among the firms looking for more workers to meet demand during the coronavirus pandemic. Fred Boehler, chief executive of AmeriCold Logistics, said his company is looking for more staff to meet demand for on-time deliveries from grocery stores and supermarkets. There's also been less turnover of late, because AmeriCold's workforce senses dimming opportunities elsewhere, he said. "That next better gig isn't out there right now," Boehler said. "By keeping the same employee base, we're probably more efficient." (; @mattgrossman)




Livestock Futures Close Limit High to Start Week -- Market Talk

15:45 ET - Both live cattle and lean hog futures on the CME finished the day limit-up, with cattle futures rising 3.4% to 92.525 cents per pound and lean hogs gaining 4.4% to 70.95 cents per pound. "With grocery store coolers emptying quickly, meat companies are stepping up production to fill the supply chain for all types of meat," says RJO Futures. "In the end, we have a surplus of meat but again, the short-term set-up is temporarily bullish." (; @kirkmaltais)



Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Mar 23 
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 
Mar 23       +$ 47.58            +$ 45.03 
Mar 20       +$ 43.11            +$ 36.97 
Mar 19       +$ 40.70            +$ 34.17 
* 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  112.3 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)     Select  112.1 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Monday rose $3.57 per hundred pounds, to $257.32, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose $4.97 per hundred pounds, to $245.14. The total load count was 236. Wholesale pork prices rose $3.47, to $83.51 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 23, 2020 17:21 ET (21:21 GMT)

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