Cattle Drop to 8-Month Low on ‘Sluggish’ Beef Demand; Hogs Fall

Cattle futures fell to an eight- month low on signs of slowing demand for U.S. beef. Hog prices also dropped.

About 119,000 cattle were processed yesterday, down 0.8 percent from a week earlier and 3.3 percent fewer than the same period in 2012, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Wholesale beef slumped 0.8 percent last week to $1.9576 a pound, the biggest weekly decline since Feb. 1, according to USDA data.

“Beef markets were sluggish again yesterday,” Troy Vetterkind, the owner of Vetterkind Cattle Brokerage LLC in Thorp, Wisconsin, said in an e-mailed report. “Demand for beef at retail remains dull, and there is a lot of competition from cheaper pork and chicken right now.”

Cattle futures for June delivery dropped 0.8 percent to $1.2045 a pound at 11:40 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, after touching $1.204, the lowest for the most-active contract since July 18.

Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement declined 1.4 percent to $1.392 a pound in Chicago.

Hog futures for June settlement fell 0.8 percent to 88.225 cents a pound in Chicago.

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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