Cattle Slump to Three-Week Low on Slowing Beef Demand; Hogs Gain

Cattle futures fell to the lowest in almost three weeks on signs of slowing U.S. demand for beef. Hog prices rose, snapping the longest slump in eight months.

Wholesale beef at midday fell 0.2 percent to $2.0408 a pound, the lowest since Oct. 28, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. The price headed for the third straight decline, the longest slump since Sept. 27. Demand may be ebbing before the Nov. 28 Thanksgiving holiday, when people traditionally eat turkey, according to Northstar Commodity Investment Co.

“Movement has really slowed down on the beef as of late,” Mark Schultz, the chief analyst at Northstar in Minneapolis, said in a telephone interview. “Demand has probably backed up a little bit domestically.”

Cattle futures for December delivery fell 0.3 percent to settle at $1.31675 a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, after touching $1.3155, the lowest for the most-active contract since Oct. 18.

Hog futures for December settlement rose 0.2 percent to 87.55 cents a pound on the CME, halting a seven-session slide that was the longest slump since Feb. 22.

Feeder-cattle futures for January settlement declined 0.3 percent to $1.65125 a pound.

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