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Hogs Futures Decline for Third Session on Pork Outlook

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Oct. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Hog futures fell for the third straight session on speculation that U.S. pork supplies are rising as demand ebbs. Cattle prices declined.

Wholesale pork as of Oct. 18 tumbled 7.9 percent to 94.3 cents a pound from Sept. 26 to the lowest since May, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. The agency didn’t post prices during the government shutdown from Oct. 1 to Oct. 16. The average hog-carcass weight on Oct. 18 was 209.46 pounds (95.1 kilograms), up 2.1 percent from a year earlier, USDA data showed. The price of corn, the main ingredient in livestock feed, has tumbled 42 percent in the past 12 months.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if our weights got heavier, especially with this low-priced corn” encouraging farmers to feed hogs more, Christian Mayer, a market adviser at Northstar Commodity Investments Co. in Minneapolis, said in a telephone interview.

Hog futures for December settlement declined 0.5 percent to close at 87.475 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The price dropped 1 percent in the previous two sessions.

Corn tumbled as U.S. farmers collect a record crop that the government forecasts will reach 13.8 billion bushels, up 28 percent from last year’s harvest damaged by drought.

Cattle futures for December delivery fell 0.1 percent to $1.319 a pound. The price has climbed 12 percent from this year’s low on May 20.

Feeder-cattle futures for January settlement decreased 0.1 percent to $1.66425 a pound.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dalton Barker in Chicago at dbarker40@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net

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