Cattle Futures Decline on Signs of Weak Beef Demand; Hogs Drop
Cattle futures fell on signs of weak demand for U.S. beef. Hogs also dropped.
Wholesale beef touched $1.9187 a pound on Nov. 9, a four- week low, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Meatpackers processed 631,000 cattle last week, down 2.3 percent from a week earlier, USDA figures show. The volume of beef shipments in the nine months through September fell 12 percent from a year earlier, the U.S. Meat Export Federation said today.
“I’m not impressed with the beef fundamentals,” Dennis Smith, an analyst at Archer Financial Services, said in a telephone interview in Chicago. “It’s a poor time of year for beef demand going into Thanksgiving,” celebrated on Nov. 22 this year, he said.
Cattle futures for December delivery dropped 0.3 percent to close at $1.2535 a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The price is still up 3.2 percent this year.
Feeder-cattle futures for January settlement rose 0.2 percent to $1.4595 a pound in Chicago.
The Veterans Day holiday observed today in the U.S. means some slaughterhouses may be closed, reducing demand for animals, said Lawrence Kane, a market adviser at Stewart-Peterson Group. About 113,000 cattle were processed today, down 4.2 percent from last week, and meatpackers slaughtered 8.1 percent fewer hogs, USDA data show.
Hog futures for December settlement slid 0.5 percent to close at 80.325 cents a pound on the CME. Prices climbed 3.9 percent last week, the biggest gain since June 1.
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