Bloomberg News

Hogs Drop to 16-Week Low as Pork Supplies Climb; Cattle Slide

May 02, 2012

Hog futures slumped to a 16-week low on signs of increasing pork supplies in the U.S. amid weak demand. Cattle also declined.

Hog carcasses in the U.S. averaged 209.61 pounds (95 kilograms) on April 30, up 0.9 percent from a year earlier, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Spot-hog prices fell to 77.27 cents a pound yesterday, the lowest since January 2011, USDA data show. Wholesale-pork prices, a gauge of demand, are down 8.7 percent this year, government data show.

“We’re still working with heavy weights,” Paul Beere, a market advisor at Prime Agricultural Consultants Inc., said in a telephone interview from Brookfield, Wisconsin. “Those need to come down. It almost looks like we’re going to miss out on a seasonal rally this year. I think it’s because of the weights being higher, and production being up.”

Hog futures for June settlement fell 1.6 percent to settle at 84.45 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. After the close of regular trading, the price reached 84.175, the lowest since Jan. 10. The commodity has gained 0.2 percent this year.

Cattle futures for June delivery declined 0.6 percent to settle at $1.12875 a pound on the CME. The price has dropped 7.1 percent this year.

Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement rose less than 0.1 percent to $1.54225 a pound in Chicago.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Campbell in Chicago at ecampbell14@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net


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