Cattle futures decline for the second straight day on signs of weakening demand for U.S. beef. Hog prices also dropped.
Meatpackers processed 366,000 cattle in the first three days of this week, down 1.6 percent from a week earlier and 4.4 percent lower than the same period in 2012, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Wholesale beef prices have slumped 4.5 percent since reaching $2.1137 on May 23, the highest since at least January 2004, government data show.
“Beef prices kind of hit a peak, and they’ve been dropping,” Dick Quiter, an account executive at McFarland Commodities LLC, said in a telephone interview from Chicago. “It just seems like demand hasn’t been maybe as good as people thought.”
Cattle futures for August delivery dropped 0.2 percent to $1.19275 a pound at 10:18 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Prices were down 9.7 percent this year through yesterday.
Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement declined 0.3 percent to $1.4555 a pound.
Hog futures for August settlement fell 0.3 percent to 97.35 cents a pound. The most-active contract climbed 14 percent this year through yesterday.
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