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Cattle Slide as Cold Weather May Slow Meat Demand; Hogs Drop

April 10 (Bloomberg) -- Cattle slumped the most in more than three weeks on speculation that cold weather across the central U.S. will curb meat demand for outdoor grilling. Hogs also fell.

Winter storm warnings and advisories reached from Utah to Wisconsin. A storm system brought “very cold air” into the western Great Plains, and temperatures fell into the mid-teens to low 20s Fahrenheit across parts of southwestern Kansas, southeastern Colorado, western Oklahoma and northwestern Texas, according to MDA Weather Services. Consumers tend to grill outdoors when temperatures rise, increasing meat purchases.

“We just can’t seem to get the market in gear,” Lawrence Kane, a market adviser at Stewart-Peterson Group in Yates City, Illinois, said in a telephone interview. “The colder weather has certainly put a damper on the psychology of the cattle market. People just haven’t gone outside and grilled yet.”

Cattle futures for June delivery dropped 1.4 percent to settle at $1.20 a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the biggest slide for the most-active contract since March 15. Prices are down 9.3 percent in 2013.

Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement declined 1.7 percent to $1.42325 a pound.

Hog futures for June settlement fell 0.4 percent to close at 89.5 cents a pound on the CME. Prices have declined 4.1 percent in the past 12 months.

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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