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Cattle Futures Fall to Two-Week Low on Slack Beef Demand

July 25 (Bloomberg) -- Cattle futures fell to a two-week low on signs of ebbing U.S. demand for beef amid declining exports. Hog prices also dropped.

In the week ended July 18, export sales of beef were 14,881 metric tons (32.8 million pounds), down 15 percent from the four-week average, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Meatpackers processed 486,000 cattle in the first four days of this week, down 1.2 percent from a week earlier, USDA data show.

“Exports sales tailing off hasn’t helped the cattle market,” Dick Quiter, an account executive at McFarland Commodities LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. Domestic “movement is slow,” he said.

Cattle futures for October delivery slid 0.1 percent to settle at $1.255 a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, the price touched $1.2455, the lowest for a most-active contract since July 9.

Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement declined 0.4 percent to $1.5235 a pound.

Hog futures for October settlement fell 0.8 percent to 85.975 cents a pound. The price climbed in the previous three days, the longest rally in six weeks.

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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