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Cattle Fall Most in Four Weeks as Beef Demand Wanes

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Cattle futures fell to the lowest price in more than three months on signs of waning demand for U.S. beef. Hogs declined in the longest slump in six months.

Wholesale beef fell 0.1 percent in the week through Feb. 15, capping a six-week slide that was the longest since July. Meatpackers processed 352,000 cattle this week, down 0.3 percent from the previous week, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“There is nothing positive to report out of the boxed-beef market, and it looks as though packers are going to have another light kill,” Troy Vetterkind, the owner of Vetterkind Cattle Brokerage LLC in Thorp, Wisconsin, said in a report.

Cattle futures for April delivery fell 1 percent to settle at $1.28225 a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, after reaching $1.27375, the lowest for the most-active contract since Nov. 12. The commodity has dropped 3.1 percent this year.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement tumbled 1.7 percent to close at $1.40725 a pound on the CME, marking the biggest drop since Oct. 11. Earlier, the price fell by the 3-cent exchange limit to $1.40175.

Hog futures for April settlement slid 0.1 percent to close at 82.95 cents a pound, capping the sixth straight decline and the longest slump since Aug. 7.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Campbell in Chicago at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at

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