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Hog Futures Slump Amid Falling U.S. Pork Demand; Cattle Steady

Hog futures declined for the third straight session on signs that U.S. pork demand is slowing, while lower feed costs are encouraging producers to boost animal weights. Cattle prices traded little changed.

Wholesale pork fell 3.2 percent to 92.19 cents a pound yesterday, and are down 17 percent from this year’s high on June 26, U.S. Department of Agriculture date show. Average hog-carcass weights climbed 1.7 percent in the 12 months through Nov. 12, according to the USDA. The price of corn, the main ingredient in livestock feed, has slumped 39 percent this year on the outlook for a record crop.

“Input costs are reasonable, like corn, and we have added record weights to the hogs,” Don Roose, the president of U.S. Commodities Inc. in West Des Moines, Iowa, said in a telephone interview. “It’s profitable for the producer to add extra weight.”

Hog futures for February settlement fell 1.1 percent to 89.8 cents a pound at 9:47 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The contract dropped 1.6 percent in the previous two days.

Cattle futures for February delivery gained 0.1 percent to $1.34575 a pound on the CME. The most-active contract gained 1.7 percent this year through yesterday.

Feeder-cattle futures for January settlement rose 0.3 percent to $1.652 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: Millie Munshi at mmunshi@bloomberg.net

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