Hog Futures Decline on Signs Pork Supplies Outpace Demand

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Hog futures declined on speculation that supplies of U.S. pork are outpacing demand. Cattle prices also dropped.

Yesterday, wholesale pork fell the most in more than a week, and meatpackers processed 862,000 hogs in the first two days of this week, up 8.2 percent from a year earlier, U.S. Department of Agriculture data showed. On Jan. 11, the agency said that pork output will be 23.302 billion pounds (10.6 million metric tons) this year, up 2.2 percent from a December estimate.

“We’re seeing supplies still a little burdensome,” Paul Beere, a grain and livestock adviser at Prime Agricultural Consultants in Brookfield, Wisconsin, said in a telephone interview. “If there’s still a big bulge in supply because of more production and higher weights, we’re going to see prices continue to push lower.”

Hog futures for April settlement fell 0.3 percent to close at 87.6 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Wholesale pork declined 0.6 percent yesterday to 83.42 cents a pound, the biggest loss since Jan. 2.

Cattle futures for April delivery dropped 0.2 percent to settle at $1.34425 a pound in Chicago.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement slumped 0.7 percent to $1.50375 a pound.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Campbell in Chicago at ecampbell14@bloomberg.net

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