Cattle Drop as Global Economic Woes May Curb Demand; Hogs Slide

Cattle futures fell to the lowest in two weeks on speculation that a sluggish global economy will curb demand for commodities. Hog prices dropped for the first time in a week.

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials tumbled to the lowest since October on signs that the European debt crisis is escalating. China, the biggest consumer of everything from pork to soybeans, has no plans to introduce stimulus measures to support growth on the scale similar to 2008, the state-run Xinhua News Agency said yesterday.

“A weak tone with these outside markets” drove cattle lower, Don Roose, the president of U.S. Commodities Inc. in West Des Moines, Iowa, said in a telephone interview. “That’s a limiting factor here.”

Cattle futures for August delivery fell 0.9 percent to $1.18575 a pound at 10:26 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, the price touched $1.177, the lowest for a most-active contract since May 14. Before today, the commodity rose 4.8 percent this month.

Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement dropped 0.9 percent to $1.562 a pound.

China’s economy is forecast to expand 8.2 percent this year, based on the median estimate of analysts surveyed this month by Bloomberg News. That would be the slowest since 1999.

Hog futures for July settlement declined 0.7 percent to 87.05 cents a pound in Chicago, heading for the first drop since May 23. Before today, the commodity climbed 2 percent this month.

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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