November 26, 2008


US hog and cattle futures fall amid domestic pork demand decline


Hog and cattle futures in the US market slumped on the back of the economy downturn and US consumers cutting back on meat consumption.


Wholesale-pork prices are down 41 percent since mid-August and last week reached the lowest in seven months, government data show.


Hog futures for February settlement fell 0.15 cent, or 0.2 percent, to 64.6 cents a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Hogs have climbed 12 percent this year. 


Wholesale pork declined 0.42 cent, or 0.7 percent, to 56.07 cents a pound yesterday, (Nov 25) according to the US Department of Agriculture. The price fell 9.8 percent this month.


US meatpackers sold 13.6 million pounds of pork last week, the least since the week ended Oct 24, USDA data show. Pork shipments last week totalled 339.2 truckloads, each weighing 40,000 pounds.


Cattle futures also fell for the second time in three sessions on speculation US consumers will buy less beef as the economy slumps.


US meatpackers shipped 17.1 million pounds of choice beef last week, or 427.8 truckloads, the least since the week ended July 4. 


Cattle futures for February delivery dropped 0.275 cent, or 0.3 percent, to 87.325 cents a pound in Chicago. Yesterday, the price rose 2.5 percent, the biggest jump for a most-active contract since March 8, 2007. Futures have declined 5.8 percent this month.


Wholesale choice beef rose for the first time in four days, gaining 0.58 cent, or 0.4 percent, to $1.5546 a pound at midday, according to the USDA. The price is up 9.3 percent this month.

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