Cattle Prices Decline on Signs of Slack U.S. Beef Demand

Cattle futures fell on signs of slack demand for beef in the U.S. Hog prices rose.

At midday, wholesale beef slumped 1.3 percent to $1.8661 a pound, the lowest since Feb. 28, U.S. data show. Meatpackers processed 364,000 head of cattle in the first three days of this week, down 1.4 percent from a week earlier. Cold weather at the start of the grilling season in May and soaring temperatures this month damped meat demand, Mark Schultz of Northstar Commodity Investment Co. said.

“Beef is sliding more,” Schultz, a chief analyst, said in a telephone interview from Minneapolis. “It’s been a terrible year for grilling.”

Cattle futures for October delivery dropped 0.2 percent to settle at $1.25675 a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, the price climbed as much as 0.4 percent. Trading was 25 percent below the 100-day average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg

Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement fell 0.4 percent to $1.53025 a pound.

Hog futures for October settlement rose 0.3 percent to 86.625 cents a pound. Earlier, the price dropped as much as 0.7 percent.

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