Cattle Decline to Three-Month Low as Export Demand Ebbs

Cattle futures fell to a three-month low on signs of waning export demand for U.S. beef. Hogs also declined.

U.S. Department of Agriculture data showed today that beef- export sales fell to 7,302 metric tons (16.1 million pounds) in the week ended Feb. 7, down 25 percent from a week earlier. Meatpackers processed 353,000 cattle in the first three days of this week, down 1.9 percent from a year earlier.

“To get a really good market going, you need some export business,” Chad Henderson, the president of Prime Agricultural Consulting Inc., said in a telephone interview from Brookfield, Wisconsin. “On the beef side, that’s on shaky ground.”

Cattle futures for April delivery fell 0.2 percent to $1.29125 a pound at 10:25 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, the price slumped as much as 1.4 percent to $1.276, the lowest for a most-active contract since Nov. 12.

Through yesterday, cattle dropped 2.2 percent this year.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement rose 0.1 percent to $1.4155 a pound. Earlier, the commodity touched $1.39175, the lowest since July 31.

Hog futures for April settlement declined 1.4 percent to 84.625 cents a pound. Earlier, the price touched 84.425 cents, the lowest since Jan. 10.

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

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.