Cattle Drop on Signs of Slowing Holiday Meat Buying; Hogs Fall

Cattle futures fell for a second straight day on speculation that U.S. beef demand is easing. Hog prices also declined.

Retailers probably have already filled meat orders for grilling demand for the Memorial Day holiday weekend, which starts May 25, said Dick Quiter, an account executive at McFarland Commodities LLC. Meatpackers processed 497,000 cattle during the first four days of the week, down 1 percent from a year earlier, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show.

“Demand seems to be a little bit lighter than what they hoped,” Quiter said in a telephone interview from Chicago. “Most of the retail buying for Memorial Day and maybe out even into Father’s Day, they pretty much have got that locked up.”

Cattle futures for August delivery fell 0.9 percent to close at $1.182 a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Prices are down 11 percent this year.

Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement slid 1.2 percent to $1.4265 a pound.

Hog futures for July settlement declined 0.4 percent to close at 93.025 cents a pound, the first drop this week. Prices have climbed 8.5 percent in 2013.

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