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Cattle Post Biggest Two-Day Drop in 10 Months on Beef Outlook

November 19, 2013
Cattle futures for February delivery fell 1.1 percent to close at $1.31675 a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.  

Nov. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Cattle futures fell, capping the biggest two-day drop in 10 months, on speculation that U.S. beef production is outpacing demand. Hog prices were unchanged.

Meatpackers have processed 240,000 cattle this week, up 4.3 percent from a week earlier, U.S. government data show. Wholesale beef has dropped 5.4 percent from a record in May.

Beef producers are struggling "to convince consumers to pay record prices," Lawrence Kane, a market adviser at Stewart- Peterson Group in Yates City, Illinois, said in a telephone interview. "We are also hitting holiday season. People buy a big turkey or big ham."

Cattle futures for February delivery fell 1.1 percent to close at $1.31675 a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. In two days, the price slumped 2.3 percent, the most since Jan. 17.

Today, wholesale beef dropped 0.3 percent to $1.9988 a pound. The all-time high on May 23 was $2.1137.

Feeder-cattle futures for January settlement declined 1.2 percent to $1.624 a pound. Earlier, the price touched $1.61825, the lowest for a most-active contract since Sept. 23.

Hog futures for February settlement closed at 89.9 cents a pound. The price has advanced 4.9 percent this year.


--Editors: Patrick McKiernan, Thomas Galatola


To contact the reporter on this story: Dalton Barker in Chicago at dbarker40@bloomberg.net


To contact the editor responsible for this story: Millie Munshi at mmunshi@bloomberg.net

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