Hogs Drop on Signs of Slowing Pork Demand; Cattle Fall

Hog futures fell for the first time in four days on signs of slowing demand for U.S. pork exports. Cattle also declined.

Exports of U.S. pork fell 14 percent in the first two months through Feb. 28, compared with the same period a year earlier, the latest government data show. Sales to Japan, the largest importer, may drop 2 percent this year, Philip Seng, the chief executive officer of the U.S. Meat Export Federation, said today in Tokyo. The cost of hogs sold for immediate delivery at meat processors are headed for a third straight weekly decline, including a 0.2 percent drop yesterday to 76.5 cents a pound, government data show.

“Export demand has been a concern on the market here a lot,” Lawrence Kane, a market adviser at Stewart-Peterson Group in Yates City, Illinois, said in a telephone interview. “The export pace has been below what we need for a real strong hog market.”

Hog futures for June settlement declined 0.4 percent to close at 90.2 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The commodity, up 0.3 percent this week, has climbed 5.2 percent in 2013.

Cattle futures for June delivery fell 0.1 percent to at $1.213 a pound. Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement dropped 0.8 percent to $1.4605 a pound.