Cattle Prices Slide on Slowing Export Demand for Beef; Hogs Drop

Cattle futures fell for the third time this week on signs of weak demand for U.S. beef. Hog prices also declined.

Export sales of beef totaled 10,508 metric tons (23.2 million pounds) in the week ended March 28, down 39 percent from a week earlier, U.S. Department of Agriculture data showed today. Wholesale-beef prices were little changed at $1.9148 a pound yesterday.

“You’re going to have trouble sustaining any upward movement in beef prices,” with exports and domestic demand “being at lower levels, especially for the better cuts,” Dick Quiter, an account executive at McFarland Commodities LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “It’s just a tough time for the meats here in general.”

Cattle futures for June delivery dropped 0.2 percent to $1.229 a pound at 11:02 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The price was down 0.9 percent this week through yesterday.

Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement slid less than 0.1 percent to $1.465 a pound.

Hog futures for June settlement dropped 0.3 percent to 92.2 cents a pound. The commodity climbed 7.9 percent this year through yesterday.

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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