Cattle Futures Slump on Signs of Slowing Meat Demand

Cattle futures declined for the second straight day on speculation that hot weather across the U.S. is reducing meat demand as fewer people grill outdoors. Hogs fell.

Temperatures soared into the 90s Fahrenheit (30s Celsius) this week, and humidity increased along the East Coast, Midwest and southern Canada, according to Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland. Wholesale beef fell for the ninth straight time, the longest slump since late March, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show.

“Heat waves are never good for meat demand,” Lawrence Kane, a senior market adviser at Stewart-Peterson Group, said in a telephone interview from Yates City, Illinois. “We had a lousy start to grilling season because of rainy weather. Now, if we have an extended heat weave, it’s going to keep some people in.”

Cattle futures for October delivery dropped 0.9 percent to settle at $1.2525 a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The price fell 0.2 percent yesterday.

At midday, wholesale beef fell 0.6 percent to $1.8943 a pound, the lowest since March 28.

Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement slumped 1 percent to $1.50975 a pound, the biggest drop for a most-active contract since June 14.

Hog futures for October settlement fell 0.1 percent to 85.275 cents a pound.

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