Hogs Drop to One-Month Low on Slow U.S. Pork Demand; Cattle Gain

Hog futures dropped to the lowest in more than a month on speculation that U.S. demand is slowing because of high pork prices and amid concern that the rising dollar is curbing exports. Cattle prices rose.

Wholesale-pork prices are up 29 percent this year and reached $1.1133 a pound on June 26, the highest since at least October 1997, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Shipments of the meat were down 13 percent in the five months through May 31 from a year earlier, according to the USDA. The dollar today climbed to a three-year high against a basket of six major currencies, reducing the appeal of U.S. supplies for overseas buyers.

Wholesale pork reached “new record highs, which typically would mean you’ll probably move some of your demand,” Mark Schultz, a chief analyst at Northstar Commodity Investment Co. in Minneapolis, said in a telephone interview. “Couple that with the rising U.S. dollar, and it probably slows export demand for a bit.”

Hog futures for August settlement fell 0.4 percent to close at 95.175 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange after reaching 94.9 cents, the lowest for the most-active contract since June 6. Prices are up 11 percent this year.

Cattle futures for August delivery gained 0.5 percent to $1.22725 a pound in Chicago. Earlier, the price touched $1.2295, the highest since June 27.

Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement fell 0.3 percent to $1.5115 a pound.

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