Cattle Futures Slump on Signs of Slowing Beef Demand; Hogs Gain

Cattle futures declined for the fourth time in five sessions on signs that demand for U.S. beef is slowing. Hog prices rose.

Meatpackers processed 239,000 cattle in the first two days of this week, down 2.4 percent from a week earlier and 4.8 percent below a year earlier, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Grocers have finished stocking up on meat for the Labor Day holiday on Sept. 2.

“The market is dealing with larger showlists this week,” Troy Vetterkind, the owner of Vetterkind Cattle Brokerage LLC in Thorp, Wisconsin, said in an e-mailed report. “Packers are buying for a short kill next week, and beef business has slowed to a crawl ahead of the Labor Day holiday.”

Cattle futures for October delivery declined 0.3 percent to settle at $1.26725 a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Prices are down 4.2 percent this year.

Feeder-cattle futures for October settlement climbed 0.7 percent to $1.5695 a pound.

Hog futures for October settlement added 0.6 percent to 86.575 cents a pound on the CME.

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