Hog Futures Post Longest Slump in 15 Months; Cattle Drop

Hog futures fell, capping the longest slump in 15 months, on signs of slack export demand for U.S. pork. Cattle also dropped.

China, the third-biggest buyer of U.S. pork, asked the U.S. for more documents showing that shipments are free of ractopamine, a feed additive used to add lean muscle in livestock, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation. Russia, the sixth-biggest buyer of U.S. pork and beef in 2012, banned those imports because the products may contain ractopamine.

“The demand challenge is there in the export market,” Lawrence Kane, a market adviser at Stewart-Peterson Group in Yates City, Illinois, said in a telephone interview. “We ship an awful lot of pork. Internationally, we have a question on demand.”

Hog futures for April settlement declined 0.7 percent to close at 82.375 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, the price touched 81.7 cents, the lowest for a most-active contract since Nov. 12. The commodity dropped for the seventh straight session, the longest slump since Oct. 27, 2011.

Cattle futures for April delivery slid 0.3 percent to $1.27825 a pound. The price has dropped 3.4 percent this year.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement declined less than 0.1 percent to $1.407 a pound.

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