Hog Futures Decline on Signs of Slowing Demand; Cattle Drop

Hog futures fell the most this month on signs of slowing U.S. demand. Cattle also declined.

Yesterday, spot-market hog prices fell 1.8 percent to 90.41 cents a pound, the lowest in four weeks, while futures jumped on speculation that China will import U.S. pork to cap rising domestic meat prices, said Dax Wedemeyer, a broker at U.S. Commodities Inc. in West Des Moines.

“We are seeing a little bit of softness in the cash market,” said Doug Harper, an analyst at Brock Associates in Milwaukee. “Futures were sharply higher yesterday on talk of Chinese business. This is probably mostly a correcting pullback.”

Hog futures for October settlement fell 0.55 cent, or 0.6 percent, to settle at 92.2 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the biggest drop for a most-active contract since June 30. The commodity has climbed 24 percent in the past 12 months.

China will seek to increase supplies of hogs to promote a stable market, Premier Wen Jiabao said in a statement posted on the government’s website. Pork prices in June soared 57 percent from a year earlier, a government report on consumer prices showed on July 9.

Cattle futures for August delivery dropped 0.675 cent, or 0.6 percent, to settle at $1.14025 a pound on the CME. The price has gained 25 percent in the past year.

Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement declined 1.325 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $1.42025 a pound.