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Hog Futures Slump to One-Month Low as Storms Slow Demand

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Feb. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Hog futures declined to a one-month low on speculation that winter storms are slowing U.S. consumer demand as shoppers stay indoors. Cattle also fell.

There will be a as much as 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) of snow in New York City and parts of southern New England tomorrow after a blizzard that struck the region starting Feb. 8. Last week’s storm dropped 24.9 inches on Boston, the fifth-most on record, and 40 inches on Hamden, Connecticut, according to the National Weather Service. About 613,000 customers from Maine to New York were without power, and travel was crippled.

“The Northeast retail business basically came to a standstill,” Lawrence Kane, a market adviser at Stewart-Peterson Group in in Yates City, Illinois, said in a telephone interview. “It’s a real tough situation” for meat demand, he said.

Hog futures for April settlement fell 0.4 percent to close at 86 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, the price touched 85.5 cents, the lowest for the most-active contract since Jan. 10.

Last week, wholesale pork dropped 5.9 percent to 81.69 cents a pound, the biggest slide since September 2011, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show.

Cattle futures for April delivery declined 0.3 percent to $1.2995 a pound on the CME. The price has fallen 1.8 percent this year.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement dropped 1.1 percent to $1.4325 a pound. Earlier, the price tumbled by the exchange limit of 3 cents to $1.418 a pound, the lowest since Aug. 10.

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