Hogs Slide on Signs Pork Demand Trails Supply; Cattle Steady

Hog futures dropped for the third time this week on signs that supplies of animals available to U.S. slaughtering plants are exceeding demand for pork. Cattle were little changed.

Wholesale pork fell 2.6 percent to a six-month low of 76.41 cents a pound yesterday, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. The cost of hogs for immediate delivery at processing plants fell for a seventh straight session yesterday to 71.07 cents a pound, the lowest since Sept. 21, USDA data show.

“There’s just a lot of hogs out there,” Dick Quiter, an account executive at McFarland Commodities LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “Domestic demand seems to be a little on the light side.”

Hog futures for June settlement dropped 0.4 percent to 88.15 cents a pound at 9:32 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The contract is down 3.6 percent this month after a 6.8 percent drop in February.

Cattle futures for June delivery fell 0.1 percent to $1.21775 a pound on the CME. The price is down 7.9 percent this year through yesterday.

Beef-export sales totaled 15,333 metric tons (33.8 million pounds) in the week ended March 14, down 22 percent from the four-week average, USDA data showed today.

Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement were little changed at $1.399 a pound in Chicago, fluctuating between gains and losses.

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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