Hogs Slump Most in Seven Weeks on Slow Demand; Cattle Decline

Hog futures fell, heading for the biggest decline in seven weeks, on speculation slowing economic growth will curb demand for U.S. pork. Cattle also dropped.

U.S. payrolls grew by 88,000 workers in March, the smallest gain in nine months and less than the most-pessimistic forecast in a Bloomberg survey, Labor Department data showed today. The “disappointing” employment report doesn’t help meat demand, said Doug Houghton, an analyst at Brock Associates.

“Everybody’s watching for the seasonal increase in demand, and we’re really not seeing it yet,” Houghton said in a telephone interview from Milwaukee. “The pork supplies look ample” compared to demand, he said.

Hog futures for June settlement declined 1.5 percent to 90.625 cents a pound at 9:43 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. A close at that level would be the biggest slump for a most-active contract since Feb. 14. The commodity was up 7.3 percent this year through yesterday.

Cattle futures for June delivery slipped 0.3 percent to $1.2205 a pound. A close at that level would leave prices down 1.9 percent this week.

Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement dropped 0.4 percent to $1.4535 a pound.

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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