Hog futures headed for the biggest drop in five weeks, on speculation that U.S. pork inventories are rising as demand slows. Cattle advanced.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture probably will report today a jump in domestic pork inventories that reached a record in April of 698.82 million pounds, up 5.9 percent from a year earlier, said Don Roose, the president of U.S. Commodities Inc. in West Des Moines, Iowa. Production of the meat will rise 0.7 percent this year and 2.6 percent in 2014, the USDA predicts.
“There’s plenty of product available, and we’re heading into the time of year when supply increases,” Paul Beere, a grain and livestock adviser at Prime Agricultural Consultants, said in a telephone interview from Brookfield, Wisconsin.
Hog futures for August settlement dropped 0.9 percent to 97.425 cents a pound at 11:52 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, heading for the biggest decline since May 17.
The USDA will update its inventory estimates for meat supplies at 3 p.m. in Washington.
Wholesale pork dropped 0.7 percent through yesterday since reaching a 22-month high on June 18, according to the USDA. Supermarkets probably have enough meat for the Independence Day holiday on July 4, Beere said.
U.S. pork exports in the first four months of 2013 were down 15 percent from the same period a year earlier, government data show.
Cattle futures for delivery in August rose 1.4 percent to $1.217 a pound in Chicago. Prices were down 9.3 percent this year through yesterday.
Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement increased 1.3 percent to $1.46325 a pound.
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