Hogs Drop for First Time This Week on Breeding Herd; Cattle Fall

Hog futures fell for the first time this week on speculation that U.S. producers are starting to retain more sows for breeding, signaling a rebound in the size of the herd. Cattle also dropped.

The breeding herd on Sept. 1 probably rose to 5.866 million hogs, up 1.4 percent from a year earlier, according to a Bloomberg survey of 10 analysts. Cash-hog prices jumped as much as 7.4 percent since Sept. 6 on concern that the supply of animals available for slaughter was shrinking. The U.S. Department of Agriculture will release its quarterly estimate of hog inventories tomorrow at 3 p.m. in Washington.

“Hog numbers are going to go up,” Mark Schultz, the chief analyst at Northstar Commodity Investment Co. in Minneapolis, Minnesota, said in a telephone interview.

Hog futures for December settlement dropped 1 percent to 87.725 cents a pound at 10:53 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, after rallying 2.9 percent in the previous three sessions.

While the breeding herd will increase, the total number of hogs will drop 1 percent from a year earlier to 67.463 million animals, the Bloomberg survey showed.

The average weight of hog carcasses at slaughtering plants rose yesterday to 205.22 pounds, up 1.5 percent from a year earlier, USDA data show.

Cattle futures for December delivery fell 0.2 percent to $1.31 a pound on the CME. Feeder-cattle futures for November settlement rose 0.3 percent to $1.645 a pound.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dalton Barker in Chicago at dbarker40@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.