Cattle Fall From Record as High Price May Curb Demand; Hogs Drop

Cattle futures fell from a record on speculation that high U.S. prices will curb consumer demand for beef. Hogs also declined.

Wholesale-beef prices that have rallied 8 percent since the end of July dropped for a third day to $1.9198 a pound, the lowest since Nov. 9, government data show. Cattle futures are up 17 percent since the end of April, curbing prospects for beef demand.

“With cattle prices, I think there’s a limit,” Jason Britt, the president of brokerage Central States Commodities Inc. in Kansas City, Missouri, said by telephone. “Prices get to a point where they ration out demand, and meat’s going to be the same way. People are saying that if prices continue the way they have been, steak’s going to become the new lobster.”

Cattle futures for February delivery slumped 0.6 percent to settle at $1.335 a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, the price reached $1.345, matching yesterday’s record.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement slid 0.6 percent to $1.5485 a pound on the CME.

Hog futures for February settlement fell 0.1 percent to 86.45 cents a pound. The price is up 2.6 percent this year.

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