Cattle Futures Slump on Signs of Slowing Beef Demand; Hogs Gain

Cattle futures declined for the fourth time in five sessions on signs that demand for U.S. beef is slowing. Hog prices rose.

Wholesale beef fell 0.2 percent from a seven-week high to $1.958 a pound yesterday, the biggest drop since Aug. 5, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Grocers have finished stocking up on meat for the Labor Day holiday on Sept. 2. Meatpackers processed 115,000 cattle yesterday, down 5 percent from a week earlier, government data show.

“The market is dealing with larger showlists this week,” Troy Vetterkind, the owner of Vetterkind Cattle Brokerage LLC in Thorp, Wisconsin, said in an e-mailed report. “Packers are buying for a short kill next week, and beef business has slowed to a crawl ahead of the Labor Day holiday.”

Cattle futures for October delivery declined 0.3 percent to $1.26725 at 10:31 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Prices were down 3.9 percent this year through yesterday.

Feeder-cattle futures for October settlement climbed 0.5 to $1.566 a pound.

Hog futures for October settlement added 0.4 percent to 86.375 cents 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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