Cattle Futures Slide; Hogs Touch Year-High

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Cattle futures fell on Wednesday as prices in the day's cash trade slid from previous weeks.

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Beefpackers bought around 450 head of cattle for an average of $1.23 a pound at Wednesday morning's online Fed Cattle Exchange auction. That was several cents a pound lower than cash trades last week, while prices on the Fed Cattle Exchange earlier in June averaged as much as $1.39 a pound.

That's pressured the futures market, as traders bet that prices will trend lower going into the summer on the back of larger cattle supply and weaker demand for beef. Beef prices have topped, analysts say, with a pound of wholesale beef down 1.57 cents to $2.4542 a pound on Wednesday afternoon.

Live cattle futures for June delivery fell 0.7% to $1.195 a pound, the lowest close since late April. Feeder cattle contracts inched higher.

Hog futures, however, climbed to a year-high on the back of consumer appetite for pork meats like bacon. A pound of wholesale pork rose 1.67 cents to 99.97 cents, pushed higher by fast-rising belly prices. Pork bellies are used to make bacon.

CME July lean hog futures jumped 1.3% to 86.075 cents a pound, the highest close since June 21 last year.

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Write to Benjamin Parkin at benjamin.parkin@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 21, 2017 16:41 ET (20:41 GMT)