Oct. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Cattle futures fell for a fourth straight day on signs of declining demand for U.S. beef as consumers may be opting for chicken or pork. Hogs rose.
The cost of cattle for slaughter dropped to $1.28 a pound this week from $1.30 a week earlier, according to Tama Livestock Auction in Tama, Iowa. Wholesale-beef prices slid 2.2 percent in the third quarter, while pork slumped 7.2 percent and a benchmark cost for chicken breasts tumbled 9 percent, government data show.
“To see better cattle prices, we need to see better meat prices,” Paul Beere, a market adviser for Prime Agricultural Inc. in Brookfield, Wisconsin, said in a telephone interview. Demand for beef is ebbing because there are “plenty of alternatives,” he said.
Cattle futures for December delivery fell 0.1 percent to $1.31725 a pound at 10:47 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, heading for the longest slump in almost a month.
Hog futures for December settlement rose 0.8 percent to 86.9 cents a pound on the CME. Prices reached a five-week low of 85.5 cents on Oct. 1.
Feeder-cattle futures for November settlement fell 0.2 percent to $1.65825 a pound.
--Editors: Millie Munshi, Patrick McKiernan