Hog futures had the biggest drop in almost two weeks on signs of slackening demand for U.S. pork and increasing supplies of animals available for slaughter. Cattle also declined.
On Nov. 26, wholesale pork fell for the first time in more than a week, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Demand has peaked for the year, and supplies are ample after meatpackers processed 4.2 percent more hogs in October than in September, said Lane Broadbent, a vice president of KIS Futures Inc. in Oklahoma City.
“We’ve already got the hogs bought that needed to get killed for the Christmas holiday,” Broadbent said. “That meat is in the pipeline now.”
Hog futures for February settlement fell 0.925 cent, or 1.2 percent, to settle at 76.225 cents a pound at 1:04 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the biggest decline for the most- active contract since Nov. 16. The price has gained 16 percent this year.
The average hog carcass weighed 208.09 pounds (94.4 kilograms) on Nov. 24, up 0.3 percent from the previous day, USDA data show.
Hogs also fell on concern that escalating tensions between North and South Korea will hurt demand for U.S. meat exports.
South Korea, the sixth-largest buyer of U.S. pork, said it plans to conduct artillery drills tomorrow on the island shelled by North Korea last week.
The conflict raises doubts on “how much demand we’re going to have overseas,” Broadbent said.
Cattle futures for February delivery fell 0.45 cent, or 0.4 percent, to $1.05775 a pound. The price has gained 23 percent this year.
Feeder-cattle futures for January settlement dropped 0.35 cent, or 0.3 percent, to $1.184 a pound.