Editorial


Trade Disputes Exacerbate Plight of the Ethanol Industry

09/13/2019

It is an undeniable fact that the ethanol industry is undergoing a period of losses with margins declining below break-even during 2019. Green Plains Inc. and Poet LLC have closed plants in major ethanol-producing states in the Midwest. The Archer Daniels Midland Company that expressed intentions of becoming an energy producer is now disillusioned as indicated in the most recent quarterly report.

The fault lines which have emerged as a result of the trade dispute with China have clearly demonstrated the reliance of the ethanol industry on government mandates and support. The intent of generating energy independence when the program was initiated in 2005 is no longer valid and for many years, the ethanol industry has survived only by indirect taxation of consumers. In some nations, conversion of sugar cane to ethanol can be a viable enterprise. A similar case cannot be made for corn-based ethanol in the U.S.

The plight of the ethanol industry is reflected in the viability of corn production. Approximately one third of corn is diverted into fermentation to produce ethanol. The reality is that with improved logistics and enhanced fuel consumption efficiency, the demand for ethanol at a 10 percent blend level and demand has declined below the projections on which the RFS was based. Domestic consumption has in fact declined in 2019 YTD compared to 2018. This is reflected in the price of ethanol now in the $1.35 per gallon range.

Although purporting to support farmers who in large measure were responsible for election of the current Administration, waivers granted to 31 petroleum refineries by the EPA reduced demand for ethanol. The biofuels industry turned to exports to compensate for overcapacity. China began importing ethanol but the trade war has turned the spigot on that outlet.

Positive action by the Administration to support the industry during the past year includes allowing ethanol to be incorporated into gasoline year- round at a level of 15 percent. This has done little to boost demand given the problem of dispensing other than a 10 percent blend. There is also a growing recognition among consumers that ethanol effectively dilutes the energy content of gasoline offsetting the lower price with higher consumption. An appeal to patriotism can only go so far.

Diversion of corn to ethanol has increased the cost of feed corn for the pork, poultry, egg and other livestock sectors. Producers in the vicinity of ethanol plants generally pay over 25 cents per bushel more than they would otherwise pay since ethanol plants requiring a constant supply of corn are obliged to pay a premium for their substrate. Based on backlash as a result of the refinery waivers, the President has indicated that he would assist the ethanol industry and indirectly farmers, but no specifics have been advanced. The waivers created dissention between the USDA and the EPA and the political implications of support for corn farmers and ethanol producers place the issue firmly in the Oval Office.

The purchasing power of the intensive livestock industry and its dependence on corn cannot continue to be ignored. Industry associations including the NCC and NTF have consistently and justifiably opposed the Renewable Fuels Standard and will continue to do so. A complete reevaluation of the justification for the ethanol industry is required since energy security is not an issue and sustainability is questionable. Biofuel from corn was in any event intended as a stopgap until cellulosic ethanol became a reality. This was a myth used to establish and perpetuate the RFS.


 

Egg Industry News


COMMODITY REPORT September 16th.

09/16/2019

December corn was up 1.1 percent on CME trading at noon September 16 th following release of the September 12th WASDE and a promise of a reduction in tariffs by China. November soybeans advanced 0.3 percent on favorable trade news and token orders. Soybean meal was 1.7 percent higher.

Release of the September WASDE documenting lower corn supply but fractionally higher ending stocks resulted in an increase in futures prices as indicated in the table below. Soybeans responded to a reduction in yield, production and ending stocks with higher prices on the CME. The price of Soybean meal increased proportionately with soybeans.

The promise of resumed negotiations with China has rekindled optimism over at least partial resolution of the trade conflict. Resumption of talks at the sub-ministerial level are scheduled for late September with bilateral ministerial discussions to take place in early October in Washington. The August series of on-again-off-again tariff announcements suggested intractability by both the U.S. and China. Current consensus is that there will not be any complete resolution of the trade dispute before the end of 2019. The White House announced new tariffs effective September 1 st but delayed until mid-October with a further escalation scheduled for mid-December. The Administration categorically denied a rumor that the U.S. would accept a partial agreement during the morning of Thursday 12th but subsequent impromptu comments on the White House lawn suggest that a series of limited agreements may be negotiated.

The continuous stream of conflicting statements by White House and Government of China spokespersons over the months since the dispute began is disconcerting to the commodities market and has contributed to price fluctuation.

The following quotations were posted by the CME at noon on Thursday September 16th compared with values for September 12th (in parentheses).

COMMODITY

 

Corn (cents per bushel)

Dec. 373 (367)

March '20 385

Soybeans (cents per bushel)

Nov. 898 (895)

Jan. '20 910

Soybean meal ($ per ton)

Dec. 298 (293)

Jan. '20 300

Changes in the price of corn, soybeans and soybean meal this past week were:-

COMMODITY CHANGE FROM PAST WEEK

Corn: Dec. quotation up 4 cents per Bu            (+1.1 percent)

Soybeans: Nov. quotation up 3 cents per Bu     (+0.3 percent)

Soybean Meal: Sept. quotation up $5 per ton.   (+1.7 percent)

  • For each 10 cent per bushel change in corn:-

The cost of egg production would change by 0.45 cent per dozen

The cost of broiler production would change by 0.25 cent per pound live weight

  • For each $10 per ton change in the price of soybean meal:-

The cost of egg production would change by 0.44 cent per dozen

The cost of broiler production would change by 0.25 cent per pound live weight

 

COMMENTS

Subscribers are referred to the comments on the weekly USDA Crop Progress Report and the September 12th WASDE posted in this edition.

In June some concessions were promised by China to reduce coercive trade practices and clarify dispute resolution. Subsequently U.S. negotiators claim that China backtracked on structural issues hence the threat of more stringent tariffs and embargos on trade with tech. companies in China.

Prices of commodities will be determined by estimates of ending stocks as influenced by the 2019 harvest, exports and domestic use.

The corn price was adversely affected by the August 9th decision by the EPA to grant 31 and to deny six waivers to refineries. This action, according to the Renewable Fuels Association decreased demand by 1 billion gallons of biofuel. This was reflected in a sharp decline in the value of a RIN from 20 to 11 cents. Ethanol value is languishing. The price was $1.38 per gallon on September 16th ($1.34 per gallon on August 30 th).

Unless shipments of corn and especially soybeans to China resume in volume, which is unlikely, despite pre-discussion concessions, the financial future for row-crop farmers for the 2019 harvest appears bleak despite the release of two tranches of support funding in 2018 amounting to $8 billion as "short-term" compensation for disruption in trade. On July 25th the USDA announced a $16 million package to support agriculture with Market Facilitation funds to be distributed in three tranches. The first payment of $2.5 billion has been made with the remainder for the third quarter through the Farm Services Agency under authority of the Commodity Credit Corporation. Payments will be based on a value corresponding to the higher of 50 percent of the Producer's calculated payment or $15 per acre, provided a cover crop is planted.

The magnitude of the second (November 2019) and third (January 2020) payments will be decided according to prevailing conditions. Regulations framed in terms of the Additional Supplementation Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 enacted in June will determine eligibility.


 

Status of 2019 Corn and Soybean Crops

09/16/2019

The USDA Crop Progress Report released on September 16th documented progress in both corn and soybeans after a slow start to planting that is expected to negatively impact yields as documented in the September WASDE Report available in this edition. Current crop condition for both soybeans and corn are inferior to the 2018 harvest as tabulated below. High topsoil moisture levels were evident in comparison with the corresponding weeks in 2018 until the past week. CHICK-NEWS and EGG-NEWS will report on the progress of the two major crops as monitored by the USDA through the end of the 2019 harvest in October.

WEEK ENDING

Crop

September 8th

September 16th

5-Year Average

Corn Dough %

Corn Dented %

Corn Mature %

Corn Harvested %

89

55

11

0

93

68

18

4

98

87

39

7

       

Soybeans Setting Pods %

Soybeans Dropping leaves %

92

0

95

15

100

38

       

Corn will be mature 25 days after the early dent stage implying harvest during late September through early October. Yield is reduced if corn fields are exposed to frost. Cold temperature before harvest contributes to higher moisture content requiring drying and susceptibility to Fusarium leading to DON contamination.

Crop Condition

V. Poor

Poor

Fair

Good

Excellent

Corn 2019

Corn 2018

4

4

10

8

31

20

44

47

11

21

Soybeans 2019

Soybeans 2018

4

3

10

7

32

23

45

49

9

18

 

Parameter

V. Short

Short

Adequate

Surplus

Topsoil moisture: Past Week

11

22

55

12

Past Year

9

19

63

9

Subsoil moisture: Past Week

9

22

59

10

Past Year

11

20

61

8


 

Egg Week

09/19/2019

USDA Weekly Egg Price and Inventory Report, September 19th 2019.

  • Hen numbers in production up 0.4 million to 325.4 million.
  • Shell inventory up a moderate 3.0 percent, third weekly rise.
  • USDA Midwest benchmark generic prices for Extra large and Large down on average 20.5 percent to 82.5 and 80.5 cents per dozen respectively. Mediums were down 25.3 percent to 47.5 cents per dozen, below production cost.
  • Price of breaking stock down 2.1 percent to 46.0 cents per dozen and checks down 5.9 percent to 47.5 cents per dozen respectively. Both categories substantially below cost of production

OVERVIEW

Prices

According to the USDA Egg Market News Reports posted on September 16th the Midwest wholesale prices for Extra Large and Large as delivered to DCs were lower by 20.3 and 20.7 percent to 82.5.5 and 80.5 cents per dozen respectively. Mediums were down 25.3 percent to 47.5 cents per dozen. Extra Large and Large were close to the USDA average 5-Region blended nest-run benchmark of 59.9 cents per dozen in August allowing for packing and transport. The progression of prices during 2019 is depicted in the USDA chart reflecting three years of data, updated weekly.

The September 16th USDA Egg Market News Report (Vol. 66: No.7) documented a USDA Combined Region value rounded to the nearest cent, of $1.10 per dozen delivered to warehouses for the week ending September 6th. This average price lags current Midwest weekly values by one week. The USDA Combined range for Large in the Midwest was $1.02 per dozen. At the high end of the range, price in the South Central Region attained $1.15 per dozen. The USDA Combined Price last week was approximately $0.35 per dozen below the three-year average and equal to the price during the corresponding week in 2018.


 

Updated USDA Projections for 2018 and 2019 U.S. Egg Production

09/19/2019

The USDA Economic Research Service issued an updated forecast of egg production on September 18th, following the previous August 16 th report. The volume of eggs produced and per capita consumption in 2019 were increased by 2.5 and 2.0 percent respectively compared to 2018 data. Consistent with this disparity, the benchmark New York price was reduced by 34.1 percent in unit value. Production data reflecting 2016 and 2017 should be compared to 2015, impacted by the Spring outbreak of HPAI in the upper-Midwest. The price elasticity of eggs is denoted by the disparity in the decline in the New York price benchmark relative to forecast volume of production.

 

The latest data is reflected in the table below:-

 

 

Parameter EGGS 2015
(actual)
2016
(actual)
2017
(actual)
2018
(actual)
2019
(forecast)
Difference %
2018 to 2019
2020
(projection)

Production (m. dozen)

6,938*

7,437

7,755

7,952 8,154 +2.5% 8,230

Consumption (eggs per capita)

255.8*

272.0

279.9

284.0

289.7 +2.0% 291.0

 

New York price (c/doz.)

182*

86

101

138

91 -34.1% 99

 

Source: Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook -September 19th 2019

*Impacted by Spring 2015 HPAI outbreaks. Consumption in 2014, 267 eggs per capita

Subscribers to EGG-NEWS are referred to the postings depicting weekly prices, volumes and trends and the monthly review of prices and related industry statistics.


 

STOP PRESS

09/19/2019

Deputy Trade Negotiators for the U.S. and China convene in DC.

 

Discussions are taking place in Washington DC with the objective of preparing the agenda and defining the issues to be considered at the higher-level talks in mid-October. With the threat of even higher sanctions and tariffs looming, the 30-person delegation from China led by Vice-Finance Minister Liao Min will discuss agriculture, currency, protection of intellectual property, coercive trade practices and related issues with the Deputy U.S. Trade Negotiator Jeffrey Gerrish and his team.


 

September is Food Safety Education Month

09/08/2019

The CDC designates September as Food Safety Education Month.  The Agency intensifies publicity with specific concentration on appropriate food handling and cooking to produce safe food.  Videos in both English and Spanish and postings on social media are featured.

 

As an added contribution on current events CDC is providing advice on food and water safety after hurricanes.  Information is available on www.cdc.gov/disaster/foodwater


 

Rooster Peck Results in Death of Woman

09/12/2019

A 67-year old owner of backyard chickens in Australia died as a result of a peck injury by a rooster involving a varicose vein.  The unfortunate victim suffered from hypertension and diabetes and was in all probability taking anticoagulant medication resulting in exsanguination from the injury.


 

World Egg Day

09/13/2019

Friday October 12th has been designated World Egg Day. The American Egg Board has arranged a special tour in Chicago to restaurants serving special egg recipes. These include:

 
  • Hot Woks Cool Sushi: Chef Ron Rungroi will serve tamago a Japanese sweet omelet sushi dish
  • Ethiopian Diamond: Chef Almaz Yigizaw will feature Doro Wat, a chicken and egg stew
  • Sapori Trattoria: Chef Antony Barbanente has created bucatini carbonara containing cheese, pasta and egg yolk
     
  • Margeau Brasseria: Brent Balika Executive Chef will serve croque madame, a ham and cheese sandwich topped with an egg coated with mornay sauce
     
    The AEB will participate in egg-promotion with associations throughout the world to spread the word on versatility and nutritional value of eggs.

 

USMCA Still in Limbo

09/13/2019

The Senate of Mexico ratified the USMCA in June by a vote of 114 to 4.  Passage through the legislatures of Canada and the U.S. are less certain Canada will go to the polls in October with the likelihood that a Conservative Party government led by Andrew Scheer will be elected.  Scheer has criticized the USMCA in the Parliament of Canada, characterizing the renegotiation of NAFTA by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as a “failure”.  Irrespective of the outcome, Canada has indicated that it will move on ratification only in tandem with the U.S.

 

During the past week the U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer has employed his negotiating and diplomatic skills on both sides of the aisle in Congress.  Apparently progress is being made in resolving contentious issues but the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will not place the Agreement before the House until concerns over labor standards in Mexico, are resolved.  Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee is urging rapid adoption of the USMCA. He warned that failure to ratify in 2019 may result in the issue becoming confounded by pre-election rhetoric.  Reopening negotiations is a non-starter according to both the Foreign Minister of Canada, Chrystia Freeland and Ambassador Lighthizer.  Adoption of the USMCA is considered critical to maintaining trade among the three neighboring nations of North America.

 


 

US Foods Inc. Acquires SGA Food Group

09/13/2019

US Foods has received Federal clearance to acquire the SGA Food Group for $1.8 billion in cash.  The transaction will involve five food service companies.  The deal will require divestment of a number of distribution centers expected to return $19 million to US Foods.  On August 6th, US Foods (USFD) released results for the second quarter of fiscal 2019.  The company earned $116 million on revenue of $6,443 million.  Comparable figures for Q2 of FY 2018 were, net income of $126 million on revenue of $6,158 million. 

 

Gross margin declined from 18.1 to 17.0 percent.  Earnings per share declined from $0.58 to $0.53 for the most recent quarter.  USFD has a market capitalization of $9.0 billion and trades with a forward P/E of 16.6.  Trailing 12 month operating margin is 2.8 percent with a profit margin of 1.6 percent.  The company posted a return on assets of 4.7 percent and equity 12.4 percent.  As of June 29th, asset value was $9.339 billion with 46 percent comprising goodwill and intangibles.  Long-term debt stood at 3.1 billion.


 

Lower Soybean Yields for 2019 Crop

09/17/2019

Rob Hatcher, Senior Economist for U.S. Soybean Association commented on the ProFarma crop review carried out during the last week of August.  The crop scouts collected 1,500 samples from U.S. soybean fields in seven states representing 70 percent of annual production.  The projection of yield was based on pod counts, plant development and soil moisture levels.  Pod counts were down 26.5 percent from the corresponding week in 2018 and 24 percent below the three year average.  USDA estimated in August that soybean yield in Illinois, a major producing state would be 15 percent lower than in 2018.

The ProFarma estimate for soybean production in 2019 will be 23 percent lower than in 2018.  This value compares to the USDA projection of a 19 percent decline.  Over a 10-year period, ProFarma estimates averaged 3 percent lower than USDA projections. 

 

An unknown will be the status of the soybean crop when confronted with the first frost.  Flooding during the spring delayed planting and direct week-over-week comparisons between 2019 and previous years are not directly comparable.  Plains States experience their first frost during mid-September and other states may pass through October without exposure to a freezing temperature.  Soybean tops are damaged when temperature falls to freezing. Prolonged sub-32F exposure will kill plants. 

 

Subscribers are referred to the weekly Crop Progress reports posted in each edition of EGG-NEWS and CHICK-NEWS with appropriate updates.

 


 

National Nutrition Month Logo Proclaims The Incredible Egg

09/19/2019


 

Salmonellosis from Imported Papayas Now Over

09/17/2019

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have concluded that the outbreak of Salmonella Uganda associated with Cavi brand papayas is now over.

An extensive epidemiologic study was conducted, implicating Cavi brand whole fresh papayas imported from Mexico as the vehicle of infection.  Cavi brand is distributed by Agroson LLC located in the Bronx, New York.

Agroson was a recipient of a warning letter concerning contamination. In late August FDA issued a statement admonishing the papaya industry to improve hygiene and production practices to protect consumers.  Given the prompt response by FDA and CDC, and the findings supported by whole genome sequencing, it is anticipated that a number of lawsuits will be filed that will be impossible for Agroson to defend.

 


 

Opposition to the Open and Responsive Government Act of 2019

09/17/2019

Poultry associations including the NCC have joined the business community in opposing the Open and Responsive Government Act of 2019 (S. 2220).  A letter was addressed to the Senate Judiciary Committee noting that if the Bill is enacted it would reverse the Food Marketing Institute v August Leader Media decision.  At issue is the protection of proprietary and commercial confidential business information that would otherwise be released under the Freedom of information Act, Exemption 4.1.  The Bill would place in jeopardy information conveyed to the government and would result in expensive litigation to ensure protection.

The letter to the Senate Committee included the statement “We will support government transparency and the fundamentals of the Freedom of Information Act but open government does not mean publicizing private business confidential information.  By making private information public, it becomes available to parties who may seek to misuse information in order to harm business.”  Trade secrets and financial information are specifically excluded under the existing FOIA exemption.


 

U.S. Food Supply Untainted by Pesticides

09/17/2019

The Food and Drug Administration has released the results of the annual Pesticide Residue Monitoring Program for foods collected during fiscal 2017.  The Agency tested 6,069 samples of domestic and imported foods and animal feeds and assayed for 700 pesticides and industrial chemicals. A total of 96.2 percent of domestic and 89.6 percent of imported human foods were compliant with Federal standards.  The levels for animal feed were even higher with 98.8 percent of domestic and 94.4 percent of imported feeds demonstrating levels consistent with Federal standards.

 

Neither glyphosate nor glufosinate were detected in milk or egg samples or in 82 percent of corn and 60 percent of soybean samples. When residues were detected applying sophisticated and highly sensitive assays, they were all below tolerance levels established by the EPA. The EPA tolerance levels for glyphosate are different depending on crops and range from 0.1 to 300 ppm.

 

It is important to note that in December 2017 the EPA issued a draft risk assessment for glyphosate and concluded that the compound was not likely to be carcinogenic.  This report reached similar conclusions to the European Food Safety Authority and Joint Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization Meeting on Pesticides Residues confirming  that glyphosate is unlikely to be a carcinogen.  These authoritative reports clearly contradict the now discredited and withdrawn International Association of Research on Cancer (IARC) report which characterized glyphosate as a potential carcinogen.  This report is the basis of plaintiffs’ assertions that glyphosate exposure resulted in non-Hodgkin lymphoma. To date three adverse judgments against Bayer AG have been handed down following jury trials. Bayer acquired Monsanto the manufacturer of Roundup™ herbicide with glyphosate as the active ingredient.


 

AEB Promoted the Nutritional Value of Eggs

09/19/2019

Dr. Mickey Rubin, Executive Director of AEB’s Egg Nutrition Center, this week delivered "Eggs Are All They're Cracked Up to Be — And More!" at the Appetite for Health gathering of food journalists and media practitioners representing 80 outlets held in Scottsdale, AZ. Food companies represented at the gathering included Unilever, Nestle, B&G (Green Giant), NOW Foods, Cliff Bar, in addition to commodity associations representing producers of potatoes, blueberries, olive oil and watermelons.

Rubin reviewed the neurocognitive benefits of egg nutrients including significant levels of choline and xanthophylls including lutein. Rubin noted that the 2020 Dietary Guidelines will address the needs of the age group spanning birth to 24 months most associated with development of brain function. The slide set presented by Dr. Rubin can be obtained from the Mark Dresner, Manager, Marketing and Communications at the AEB <mdresner@aeb.org>

The AEB treated conference participants to an egg breakfast of mixed vegetable frittatas, courtesy of America's egg farmers.


 

Herbruck Brothers, Stephen, Gregg and Herb Honored

09/19/2019

The Michigan Agri-Business Association honored the second generation of Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch, brother Stephen, Greg and Herb with the Leaders and Legends Award at the annual Outlook Conference on Mackinac Island on September 14th. The award recognizes the sustainability, community service, entrepreneurial acumen and contributions to Michigan agriculture.

 

Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch was established in 1958 by Harry and Marilyn Herbruck. The Company now includes third and fourth generation members in its ranks.

 


 

AEB Success with Dinner Eggs

09/19/2019

A successful promotional strategy devised by the American Egg Board was described in an incisive article contributed by Anne L. Alonzo, president and CEO of the AEB. The article appeared in the Fall Edition of the Urner-Barry Reporter. Faced with the reality that the breakfast market is saturated, the AEB encouraged consumption of eggs at the dinner mealtime.

Extending the successful Incredible Egg “How Do You Like Your Eggs?” campaign that emphasized versatility, on May 5th the Dinner Eggs promotion was initiated using a mockumentary spot featuring a farming couple. The response was overwhelming, generating considerable interest on the social media.

The AEB documented a retail egg sales increase of 4.5 percent in equalized dozens during the weeks following the May Dinner Eggs launch compared to the equivalent period in 2018. There was a 121 percent increase in responders reporting consumption of eggs for weekday dinner meals. A total of 43 percent of responders claimed making eggs for weekend dinners. In fairness it must be recognized that a 65 cent per dozen differential pertained during the first week in May between 2018 and 2019, as determined by the USDA for the 5-Region Combined Large Egg Price ($0.60 cents compared to $1.25 per dozen in 2018) 

The AEB will build on the campaign publishing four dinner-focused recipes and increasing media spend. The results will be measured using Nielsen sales data.

Ms. Alonzo attributes the success of the campaign to satisfying a consumer need. She wrote “We realize it will take more than one year after seeding the Dinner Egg idea before we reap the full benefits of changing how consumers think about eggs, but we are determined to crack the sales ceiling for eggs by making dinner time more egg-citing and we are determined to continue eggceeding eggspectations”.

For further information on the program, access www.dinnereggs.com.


 

Dozier Appointed Head of Auburn University Department of Poultry Science

09/19/2019

William A. “Bill” Dozier, professor of Poultry Science, has been appointed as Head of the Department effective September 1st. Dozier obtained a baccalaureate degree from Auburn University in animal and dairy science in 1992 and Doctorate in poultry science in 2000. He served as an extension poultry scientist at the University of Georgia and at the USDA Poultry Research in Unit in Starkville, MS before returning to Auburn.

In commenting on the appointment, Dozier noted “I’m excited to embrace the opportunity to impact research teaching and extension programs in poultry and food industries in Alabama and around the globe”.


 

Wendy’s To Reintroduce Breakfast

09/19/2019

The Wendy’s Company announced on September the 9th that it will have a second attempt at introducing breakfast after abandoning a 2012 initiative. According to a company press release the project will spend $20 million to add menu items and the initiative will involve 5,800 domestic restaurants. Franchisees will hire 20,000 additional workers.

For the second quarter of fiscal 2019 ending June 30th, Wendy’s posted a net income of $32.4 million on net sales with store and franchise income of $435. 4 million. Comparative figures for Q2 of fiscal 2018 were a net income of $29.9 million on revenue of $411.0 million.

Expenditure on the introduction breakfasts will reduce EPS and the company provided amended guidance downgraded by 3.5 to 6.5 percent from the previous projection. The Wendy’s Company expects global system-wide sales to grow by 3.0 to 4.0 percent and will incur capital expenditure of $75 to $80 million.

Following the announcement on Monday September 9th, share price which closed at $21.95 opened Tuesday at $20.30 and closing at $19.69.

Wendy’s has a market capitalization of $4.5 billion and trades with a forward P/E of 25.6. The trailing 12-month profit margin is 36.2 percent with an operating margin of 20.7 percent. Return on assets is 3.7 percent and on equity 87.9 percent. For the purpose of comparison, equivalent values for industry leader McDonald’s Corporation are a market capitalization of $160.5 billion, trading with a forward P/E of 24.1. The trailing 12-month profit margin is 28.3 percent with an operating margin of 41.9 percent. Return on assets is 13.8 percent.

Although the announcement that the company would enter the breakfast meal time, had an adverse effect on share price, over the long term, the company and its shareholders should benefit.


 

Choline Intake Reduces Risk of Dementia

09/19/2019

According to a report in the weekly newsletter of the Institute of Food Technologists, studies conducted in Finland showed that dietary phosphatidylcholine reduced the risk of dementia in middle to elderly males.  Choline is an essential nutrient required to synthesize actylcholine a neurotransmitter.  Comparing groups of men in a retrospective study, those with a high intake of dietary phosphatidylcholine showed a lower risk of dementia than a comparable group of men with a low intake of the nutrient.

 

The data was derived from a concurrent Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study that followed the diets and the health outcomes of 2,500 men age 42 to 60 in Finland.  The retrospective study evaluated dietary intake and correlated choline intake with the results of memory and cognitive processing tests. 

 

It is noted that an egg contains 125 mg of choline, an essential nutrient with obvious health benefits to the elderly.


 

Daybreak Foods Receives Permit for Creekwood Development

09/19/2019

The Lake Mills, WI. Town Board approved a permit for Daybreak Foods to run water and communications lines under Crossman Road to service the proposed reconstruction of the complex.  The Board however deferred on a permit to allow Daybreak to install an over-the-road conveyor to move feed from their mill to the houses.  Daybreak offered $150,000 for road work, agreed to post a bond and undertook other commitments.  The application is still subject to review and a subsequent decision.

 


 

Commentary


Environmental Impact of the NC Timber Industry

09/13/2019

The editorial on August 21st dealt with sustainability and specifically the fallacy of burning wood chips to generate electricity.  Further to the information provided in this posting, a subsequent report by the Center for a Sustainable Economy characterizes the North Carolina timber industry as a “climate catastrophe”.  Approximately 5 percent of North Carolina covering 2.6 million acres is a carbon sequestration dead zone.  This is due to clear cutting and removal of timber for wood chip production and for sawmills in the state.  If plantations are harvested it takes approximately 13 years to begin offsetting atmospheric carbon dioxide through photosynthesis.  Pine plantations store less carbon than native forest currently dominated by hardwoods in North Carolina.

Findings by the Center for a Sustainable Economy concerning release of carbon dioxide by the logging industry are paralleled in Oregon.  In that state logging is the most carbon-intensive sector.  In North Carolina electric generation and transportation are more carbon intensive.

The Center for a Sustainable Economy advocates application of acceptable forestry practices as an alternative to clear cutting including restoration and a lower intensity of logging.  Unfortunately the economic impact of the timber industry and its political clout mitigate against any meaningful improvement in the intermediate future.

 


 

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Dr. Simon M. Shane
Simon M. Shane
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