Cattle futures fell, capping the longest run of monthly declines since 2009, on speculation that the tepid U.S. economy is eroding demand for beef. Hogs rose.
Business activity unexpectedly shrank in April for the first time in more than three years, the MNI Chicago Report’s business barometer showed today. Incomes last month rose less than forecast by analysts, government figures showed yesterday. Cattle prices dropped for the third straight month, the longest slump since October 2009.
“The economy isn’t that great,” Dick Quiter, an account executive at McFarland Commodities LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “We just can’t seem to get a consistently good undertone to the retail end of this beef market.”
Cattle futures for June delivery fell 0.5 percent to close at $1.219 a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The price, down 2 percent in April, has dropped 7.9 percent this year.
Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement declined 0.7 percent to $1.489 a pound.
Hog futures for June settlement gained 0.5 percent to 92.575 cents a pound. This month, the price rose 1.6 percent, the second straight increase. In 2013, the commodity has climbed 8 percent.