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Old June 10th, 2013, 01:14 PM
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Cattle Decline to Two-Week Low as U.S. Beef Demand Ebbs

By Elizabeth Campbell - Jun 10, 2013 11:16 AM ET
Cattle prices fell to the lowest in two weeks on signs of easing demand for U.S. beef. Hog futures extended a rally to the highest in more than two years.
Last week, meatpackers processed an estimated 644,000 cattle, down 2.4 percent from a year earlier, and wholesale beefdropped 2.5 percent, the most since February, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show.
“Packers are getting to the point that they’re reluctant to bid higher because they don’t know what the future holds,”Paul Beere, a grain and livestock adviser at Prime Agricultural Consultants in Brookfield, Wisconsin, said in a telephone interview. “Retailers really have got their needs met” for Father’s Day on June 16, when outdoor grilling increases, he said.
Cattle futures for August delivery dropped 0.5 percent to $1.1865 a pound at 10:13 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, the price touched $1.18375, the lowest for the most-active contract since May 24.
Last week, wholesale beef fell to $2.0157 a pound. On May 23, the price reached $2.1137, the highest since at least January 2004, government data show.
Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement rose 0.3 percent to $1.44025 a pound.
Hog futures for July settlement climbed 2.1 percent to 98.2 cents a pound. Earlier, the price reached 98.475 cents, the highest since April 26, 2011.
Last week, wholesale pork rose 2.3 percent to 96.51 cents a pound, 52 percent less than beef.
Hogs are rising “because of the price benefit that they have,” Beere said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Campbell in Chicago at
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at

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