Hog Futures Extend Slump on U.S. Pork Output; Cattle Fall

Hog futures fell for the seventh consecutive session, extending the longest slump since February, on signs that U.S. pork processors are increasing output. Cattle prices declined.

Meatpackers processed 1.31 million hogs in the first three days of this week, 1.2 percent more than a week earlier, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. The average carcass weight is up 4.3 pounds (1.9 kilograms) from a year earlier as plunging feed costs allows farmers to keep animals longer, according to the USDA. Wholesale-pork prices are down 16 percent from this year’s high on June 26.

“You are going to have producers push these hogs to maximum weights,” Chad Henderson, a market analyst with Prime Agricultural Consultants Inc. in Brookfield, Wisconsin, said in a telephone interview. “Demand is consistent, but demand is not strong.”

Hog futures for December settlement fell 1 percent to close at 87.35 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, after touching 87.25 cents, the lowest for a most-active contract since Oct. 18. Prices are down 5 percent over the past seven sessions, the longest slump since Feb. 22.

Cattle futures for December delivery fell less than 0.1 percent to $1.32025 a pound on the CME. Feeder-cattle futures for January settlement increased 0.3 percent to $1.6555 a pound, the third straight gain.

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