Cattle futures declined to the lowest price since July as U.S. meat processors slowed purchases on signs of weakening demand for beef. Hogs also fell.
Meatpackers processed about 481,000 cattle in the first four days of this week, down 2.2 percent from the same period a year earlier, U.S. Department of Agricultural data show. Wholesale beef fell 0.6 percent to $1.9632 a pound yesterday, the biggest decline in a month, USDA data show. Prices are still up 1.1 percent this year, while wholesale pork is down 5.9 percent, government data show.
“Demand is still sluggish at the consumer level, and as such, buyers are reluctant to take on additional product,” Troy Vetterkind, the owner of Vetterkind Cattle Brokerage LLC in Thorp, Wisconsin, said in an e-mailed report. “Cattle futures continue to succumb to pressure on demand concerns and the deep discounts in the pork market.”
Cattle futures for June delivery fell 1.2 percent to $1.21625 a pound at 10:20 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, after touching $1.21475, the lowest for the most- active contract since July 18.
Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement dropped 1.4 percent to $1.4135 a pound in Chicago.
Hog futures for June settlement slumped 1.6 percent to 89.075 cents a pound on the CME. The contract was down 1 percent this month through yesterday.
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