Cattle Drop as Global Economic Woes May Curb Demand; Hogs Gain

Cattle futures fell to the lowest in two weeks on speculation that a sluggish global economy will curb demand for commodities. Hog prices rose.

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials tumbled to the lowest since October, with 21 commodities dropping, on signs that the European debt crisis is escalating. China, the biggest consumer of everything from copper to soybeans, has no plans to introduce stimulus measures to support growth on the scale similar to 2008, the state-run Xinhua News Agency said yesterday.

“A weak tone with these outside markets” drove cattle lower, Don Roose, the president of U.S. Commodities Inc. in West Des Moines, Iowa, said in a telephone interview. “That’s a limiting factor here.”

Cattle futures for August delivery fell 1.4 percent to settle at $1.17925 a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, after touching $1.177, the lowest for a most-active contract since May 14. The commodity has risen 3.3 percent in May, heading for the biggest monthly gain since January.

Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement dropped 1 percent to settle at $1.56075 a pound.

China’s economy is forecast to expand 8.2 percent this year, based on the median estimate of analysts surveyed this month by Bloomberg News. That would be the slowest since 1999.

Hog futures for July settlement rose 0.4 percent to settle at 88 cents a pound in Chicago. The commodity has climbed 2.4 percent this month, heading for the biggest gain since January.

Wholesale pork rose 1.1 percent to 78.83 cents a pound yesterday, the biggest increase since May 14, and prices are up 1.1 percent this month, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show.

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