Hog prices fell the most in two weeks on signs of increasing U.S. supplies of pork. Cattle futures were little changed.
Warehouses held 554.4 million pounds (about 251,000 metric tons) of pork at the end of December, up 14 percent from a year earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said yesterday in a report released after the close of trading. Chicken-meat inventories were 7.9 percent larger than a year earlier, and beef supplies rose 1.8 percent, USDA data show.
“The cold storage not only was a little bit heavy on the pork, poultry came in higher and so did beef,” Mark Schultz, the chief analyst at Northstar Commodity Investment Co. in Minneapolis, said in a telephone interview. “We came in a little bit heavier than what the trade was expecting.”
Hog futures for April settlement declined 0.3 percent to close at 88 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the biggest slump for the most-active contract since Jan. 9.
Spot hogs dropped 0.6 percent to 83.9 cents a pound yesterday, the first decline in a week, according to USDA data.
Cattle futures for April delivery fell less than 0.1 percent to settle at $1.3045 a pound in Chicago. Prices are down 1.4 percent this month.
Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement rose 0.1 percent to close at $1.4715 a pound on the CME.