Hogs Drop to Two-Week Low on Slowing Pork Demand; Cattle Steady

Hog futures slumped to a two-week low on speculation that demand for U.S. pork is slowing and supplies are increasing. Cattle prices were little changed.

Meatpackers processed 1.222 million hogs in the first three days of this week, down 2.4 percent from a week earlier, government data show. Yesterday, wholesale pork fell 0.2 percent to 87.72 cents a pound, the second decline this week, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Retailers may have filled meat orders for grilling demand for the Memorial Day holiday on May 27, according to U.S. Commodities Inc.

“If the packer slows the kill, the fear is the numbers are still there and you could add weight,” Don Roose, the president of U.S. Commodities Inc., said in telephone interview from West Des Moines, Iowa. “There’s also a concern that the Memorial Day buying of pork might be coming to a halt.”

Hog futures for June settlement fell 0.5 percent to 91.325 cents a pound at 9:23 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange after touching 90.975 cents, the lowest for a most-active contract since April 25.

Memorial Day is the second-most-popular day for grilling, according to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association. The Independence Day holiday on July 4 is No. 1.

Cattle futures for June delivery slid 0.1 percent to $1.201 a pound. Prices were up 3.8 percent in the 12 months through yesterday.

Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement slipped 0.1 percent to $1.4525 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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