Oct. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Cattle futures fell for the first time in a week on speculation that surging U.S. beef prices will erode demand at grocery stores and restaurants. Hogs also decreased.
Wholesale beef rose to the highest price today since early June and is up 6.2 percent in October, heading for the biggest monthly rally in more than a year, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. In a sign of slowing demand, meat plants slaughtered 245,000 cattle this week through yesterday, down 0.4 percent from a week earlier, according to the USDA.
“Meatpackers are slowing down because of high prices,” Troy Vetterkind, the owner of Vetterkind Cattle Brokerage in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “Packers are going to have an increasingly harder time selling beef at these high prices around Thanksgiving.”
Cattle futures for December delivery fell 0.9 percent to close at $1.33125 a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, halting a four-session rally that sent prices to a nine-month high on Oct. 25. Wholesale beef reached $2.0531 a pound at midday today, the highest since June 3.
Feeder-cattle futures for January settlement dropped 1.3 percent to $1.648 a pound.
Hog futures for December settlement declined 1 percent to 90.4 cents a pound on the CME, the biggest decline since Oct. 9, after touching 92.3 cents, the highest for the contract since it began trading in June 2012. The price is up 4.4 percent this month.
--Editors: Steve Stroth, Thomas Galatola