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Cattle Futures Extend Rally on Tightening U.S. Supply

Feb. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Cattle futures fell, capping the first monthly decline since September, on signs of weak demand for beef and increasing supplies. Hogs were unchanged.

Wholesale beef prices are down 4 percent this year, the weakest start since 2009, government data show. Steers averaged 1,450 pounds (658 kilograms) in the first three days of this week, 5.5 percent heavier than the same period in 2012, government data show. Winter weather, especially storms in the Northeast, have curbed meat demand, said Lawrence Kane, a market adviser at Stewart-Peterson Group.

“2013 has not been a kind year so far for the livestock industry,” Kane said in a telephone interview from Yates City, Illinois. “We sort of had a real double whammy on this thing between softer demand on the East Coast and good weight gains.”

Cattle futures for April delivery fell less than 0.1 percent to settle at $1.2985 a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The commodity dropped 2.2 percent in February, snapping a four-month rally.

Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement rose 0.3 percent to close at $1.4805 a pound, leaving prices down 1 percent this month, the second straight decline.

Hog futures for April settlement closed unchanged at 81 cents a pound, having dropped 9.3 percent this month, the biggest decline since July.

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

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