TOP STORIES

 

UK Meat Exporters' Trade May Halve Amid Brexit Chaos -- Market Talk

1541 GMT - U.K. meat exporters could lose up to half their trade as a result of chaos caused by the U.K.'s departure from the EU, industry chiefs say. Companies are reporting systemic difficulties in exporting to the EU from outside its single market, mountains of red tape and a potential permanent loss of trade of between 20%-50%, the British Meat Processors Association says. Dismissing trade disruption at borders as simply short-term 'teething problems' is no longer credible, the trade group says. "Export hurdles we face are now in plain sight and aren't going away," BMPA chief executive Nick Allen says. "We need government to urgently re-engage with both the industry and the EU to work out detailed, lasting solutions." (philip.waller@wsj.com)

 

Decline in US Hogs Pressures Feed Grains -- Market Talk

0923 ET - The inventory of US hogs fell 2% to 74.8 million head through March 1, according to the USDA's latest hogs and pigs report released late yesterday. While expected to help hog futures trading on the CME rise today, the news is less positive for grains traders -- who were hoping that a rise in hogs to feed would support increased consumption of feed grains. "[It's] perceived bearish for feed prices," says Terry Reilly of Futures International. Along with row crop futures, soymeal futures on the CBOT are down in pre-market trading -- with the most-active contract down 0.7% to $401.80 per ton. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)

 

STORIES OF INTEREST

 

Analysts Forecast Uptick in Corn Planted Acreage -- Market Talk

11:19 ET - US farmers are expected to plant more corn acres than forecast by the USDA in February. According to analysts surveyed by WSJ, farmers are expected to plant 93.1M acres of corn, up from 92M acres previously forecast by the USDA. Meanwhile, farmers are forecast to plant just below 90M acres of soybeans, roughly unchanged from the USDA's previous estimates, and 45.2M acres of wheat, slightly higher than the USDA's February forecast. Higher acreage may pressure CBOT grain futures, as more supply on the ground may ease indications of tight supply in the US. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)

 

Unilever Seen With Diffidence by Market -- Market Talk

0918 GMT - Consumer-goods giant Unilever is struggling to keep up with expectations, according to Jefferies. Unilever needs to find a path to reach an organic sales growth greater than 4% on the year to rebuild the market's confidence in the company, the U.S. bank says. However, reaching that target looks increasingly elusive this year, it says. Jefferies has a buy rating on the stock and a target price of 4,550 pence. Shares are down 0.3% at 4,047 pence. (matteo.castia@dowjones.com)

 

China Modern Dairy Operating Cash Flow Likely Supported by Raw Milk Prices -- Market Talk

0542 GMT - China Modern Dairy's operating cash flow could rise over 2021-2023, helped by recovering raw milk prices, Daiwa Capital says; the dairy company expects to generate more than CNY1 billion in operating cash flow per annum, it says. Daiwa notes that China Modern Dairy recently raised CNY1.3 billion through a new share issue, which may satisfy over 60% of its capex needs over 2021-2025. The Japanese bank raises its forecast for China Modern Dairy's revenue by 2%-35% and for EPS by 7%-15% over 2021-2022, citing support from increases in its herd size. Daiwa maintains a buy rating and raises its target price to HK$3.20 from HK$2.81. Shares are up 8.1% at HK$2.01.(justina.lee@wsj.com)

 

FUTURES MARKETS

 

Livestock Finishes Higher on Covid Reopening Hopes -- Market Talk

1548 ET - The reopening of the US economy as Covid-19 vaccinations proliferate across America helped support livestock futures on the CME Friday. Live cattle futures close up 0.6% to $1.21775 per pound while lean hog futures finish with a gain of 2.2% to $1.056 per pound. "Pork production this year will fall short of 2020 levels in a year when export demand is expected to remain solid, while the opening of America's economy is expected to increase demand," says Arlan Suderman of StoneX. "That's supporting the beef markets as well." (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)

 

CASH MARKETS

 
Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Mar 26 
 
All figures are on a per-head basis. 
 
Date     Standard Margin       Estimated margin 
         Operating Index         at vertically - 
                             integrated operations 
 
Mar 26       +$ 14.45            +$ 94.70 
 
Mar 25       +$ 22.15            +$ 98.10 
 
Mar 24       +$ 26.85            +$100.83 
 
* 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. 
 
Beef-O-Meter 
This report compares the USDA's latest beef carcass composite 
values as a percentage of their respective year-ago prices. 
 
                                  Beef 
          For Today              Choice   93.1 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)      Select   93.7 
 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 
 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Friday rose $1.21 per hundred pounds, to $237.66, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose $1.52 per hundred pounds, to $227.77. The total load count was 84. Wholesale pork prices fell $1.58, to $106.45 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 26, 2021 17:22 ET (21:22 GMT)

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