Curt Thacker - Dow Jones Newswires

via - Jan 18, 2013




U.S. Retail Meat: Grocers Trying to Put a Spark in Sales


Grocers are trying to put a spark in generally sluggish sales so far this month but factors largely beyond their control may be taking a bite out of consumer spending, especially for the premium-priced meat cuts. Product movement at the meat cases overall has been somewhat disappointing since the holidays, even for a period in which consumers typically tighten their food budgets to pay bills from holiday gift shopping and higher heating costs, analysts said.


Cargill to Close Texas Beef Plant, Citing Drought, Cattle Supply


Cargill Inc., one of the world's largest beef producers, said it will close a Texas processing plant due to dwindling cattle supplies caused by drought in the central U.S. The Minnesota-based company said it would close the plant in Plainview, Texas, on Feb. 1, affecting 2,000 employees. Although Cargill will preserve the plant's infrastructure so that it could possibly reopen when cattle supplies rebound, Cargill said it does not expect that to happen "for a number of years."


Australia's Beef, Lamb Exports Hit Record in 2012


SYDNEY--Australia's beef and lamb exports rose to a record high last year as a slump in prices rekindled demand from buyers in the Middle East, China and North America, industry body Meat and Livestock Australia said Friday. Beef shipments rose to a record high of 963,799 metric tons, shipped weight, in 2012 as dry weather forced down prices and pushed up the cost of feeding animals, prompting farmers to slaughter cattle at rapid rates in the final three months of the year.




China 2012 Pork Output 53.35 Mln Tons; Up 5.6%


BEIJING--China produced 53.35 million metric tons of pork last year, up 5.6% from the year before, the National Bureau of Statistics said Friday. Total meat output, which also includes beef, poultry and mutton, reached 82.21 million tons, an increase of 5.4%, it said.


McDonald's New Packaging to Have QR Codes For Nutritional Information


McDonald's Corp. (MCD) unveiled plans to launch new packaging designs incorporating QR codes that will make nutrition information accessible from mobile devices, as the world's largest fast-food chain continues its push to appeal to more nutrition-conscious consumers. QR, or quick response, codes encode information that when scanned on a mobile phone can connect customers on the go to information. "Customers tell us they want to know more about the food they are eating and we want to make that as easy as possible by putting this information right at their fingertips," Chief Brand Officer Kevin Newell said.




Majority of Week's Cattle Trading Done; a Few Sales Possible ...


Cash Hog Bids Seen Flat To Higher on Snug Supplies


Cash hog prices Friday are expected to be steady, or flat, to higher as packers seek additional animals for next week amid modest seasonal tightening of supplies. The arrival of cold temperatures across the Midwest forecast for the first half of next week could limit selling interest since producers may want to leave the hogs in the barns to maintain temperatures within the facilities. If packers need to buy more hogs, they'll have to pay steady to higher prices to get any producers interested in selling, livestock dealers said.