Hog futures dropped for the third time in four sessions on signs that overseas demand for U.S. pork is ebbing. Cattle were little changed.
U.S. exporters shipped 820.78 million pounds (372,297 metric tons) of pork in the two months through Feb. 28, down 14 percent from a year earlier, government data showed yesterday. Russia, the sixth-biggest buyer of U.S. pork last year, has banned the imports, saying the products may contain ractopamine, a feed additive used to add lean muscle in livestock.
“There’s just a little cloud looming over our heads with exports,” Jason Golly, a vice president of risk-management marketing at Lynch Livestock Inc. in Waucoma, Iowa, said in a telephone interview.
Hog futures for June settlement fell 0.5 percent to 90.125 cents a pound at 9:25 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Prices were down 3.3 percent in the 12 months through yesterday.
China, the world’s biggest pork consumer, started stockpiling frozen pork for state reserves in more than 20 provinces to prevent prices from falling further, according to the National Development and Reform Commission. Oversupply in the Chinese pork market will continue amid high production capacity, the commission said in a statement posted on its website April 7.
Cattle futures for June delivery slid 0.1 percent to $1.2195 a pound on the CME. Prices were down 7.8 percent in 2013 through yesterday.
Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement rose 0.1 percent to $1.44925 a pound.
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