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Hog Prices Fall on Increasing Animal Weights; Cattle Drop on Slack Demand

Cattle prices fell in Chicago, heading for the second straight weekly decline, on signs of slack demand for beef. Hog prices also dropped.

U.S. exporters sold 10,933 metric tons of beef in the week ended Oct. 28, down 45 percent from a week earlier, government data show. Yesterday, wholesale-choice beef fell 0.5 percent to $1.5901 a pound, the lowest level in two weeks.

Beef-export sales were “disappointing,” said Christian Mayer, a market adviser at Northstar Commodity Investments Co. in Minneapolis. “Cutouts were down yesterday. Movement has been slow.”

Cattle futures for December delivery fell 0.5 cent, or 0.5 percent, to 97.15 cents a pound at 11:08 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Before today, the price rose 13 percent in 2010.

The dollar rose as much as 1 percent against a basket of major currencies, reducing the appeal of U.S. meat exports, Mayer said.

Hog futures for December settlement fell 0.65 cent, or 1 percent, to 66.975 cents a pound. Before today, the commodity rose 3.1 percent this year.

In the week ended Oct. 30, hogs in Iowa and southern Minnesota, the largest U.S. producing region, weighed 2.1 percent more on average than a year earlier, signaling increasing meat supplies.

“Weights are above a year ago,” Mayer said. “A lot of product on the market” is pushing prices lower, he said.

Feeder-cattle futures for January settlement were unchanged at $1.104 a pound.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Campbell in Chicago at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at

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