Bloomberg News

Cattle Drop on Signs of Rising U.S. Beef Supplies; Hogs Decline

August 01, 2012

Cattle futures dropped in Chicago, heading for the biggest two-day slump in almost seven weeks, on signs of increasing beef supplies in the U.S. Hog prices fell to a one-week low.

Steers weighed 1,375 pounds (623.7 kilograms) on average at slaughter last week, up 23 pounds from the same period a year earlier, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. With heavier animals and higher grain costs, feedlots have more incentive to get rid of their inventory, said Mark Schultz, the chief analyst at Northstar Commodity Investment Co.

“You’ve got to sell more cattle faster, and that puts more meat on the market short term,” Schultz said in a telephone interview from Minneapolis.

Cattle futures for October delivery slumped 0.4 percent to $1.2385 a pound at 10:05 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. A close at that level would leave prices down 1.6 percent in two days, the biggest such drop since June 14. Futures declined 3.3 percent in July.

Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement gained 0.4 percent to $1.392 a pound on the CME.

Hog futures for October settlement declined 0.7 percent to 79.7 cents a pound in Chicago, after reaching 79.5 cents, the lowest since July 25. The price through yesterday was down 4.7 percent this year.

Wholesale pork fell 3.7 percent last month to 91.91 cents a pound, and hog prices on the spot market declined 8.2 percent to 89.07 cents a pound, USDA data show.

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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