Aug. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Hog futures dropped the most in two weeks on signs that cheaper animal feed is helping to boost U.S. pork supplies. Cattle prices fell.
The price of corn, the main ingredient in livestock feed, has tumbled 43 percent from a record $8.49 a bushel in August 2012. Meatpackers processed 398,000 hogs in the Iowa and southern Minnesota region in the week ended Aug. 17, up 5.3 percent from a week earlier, Department of Agriculture data show. Average carcass weights rose 1.6 percent from a year earlier.
"People are looking for an increase in hog numbers going through the fall," Dick Quiter, an account executive at McFarland Commodities LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. When feed costs drop, "pig-crop numbers tend to increase, and the weights probably tend to go up," he said.
Hog futures for October settlement fell 1.3 percent to close at 85.825 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the biggest drop for a most-active contract since Aug. 7.
Wholesale pork declined 0.5 percent yesterday to $1.0183 a pound, the lowest since July 31, USDA data show.
Cattle futures for October delivery fell 0.1 percent to $1.27975 a pound.
Feeder-cattle futures for September settlement dropped 0.3 percent to $1.577 a pound.
--Editors: Patrick McKiernan, Thomas Galatola
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