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Cattle Prices Drop as Holiday Beef Demand Slows

July 2, 2013

July 2 (Bloomberg) -- Cattle futures slumped on signs that U.S. grocers have finished buying beef for the Fourth of July holiday. Hog prices also fell.

Meatpackers have a shortened-slaughter week with the federal holiday and processed 249,000 cattle in the first two days of this week, down 3.9 percent from a year earlier, government data show. Independence Day on July 4 is the most- popular day for outdoor grilling, according to the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association.

"Our immediate needs are met," Lawrence Kane, a senior market adviser at Stewart-Peterson Group, said in a telephone interview from Yates City, Illinois. "The whole meat industry always gets out of whack over holidays."

Cattle futures for August delivery fell 0.2 percent to settle at $1.219 a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Prices are down 7.9 percent this year.

Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement dropped 0.2 percent to $1.509 a pound.

Hog futures for August settlement retreated 0.4 percent to 96.625 cents a pound on the CME. The commodity is up 13 percent in 2013.


--Editors: Thomas Galatola, Patrick McKiernan


To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Campbell in Chicago at ecampbell14@bloomberg.net


To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net.


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