Livestock, Meat Prices Fall

From Associated Press

Livestock and meat prices continued to fall Wednesday on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, as abundant supplies of heavyweight cattle continued to weigh on prices.

Pork belly prices came under heavy selling pressure after a large number of deliveries were made against the May contract and because of concern that heavy deliveries would continue, analysts said.

Chuck Levitt, a livestock analyst in Chicago with Shearson Lehman Bros., said hog and cattle prices were both under pressure because large numbers of heavy animals remain to be marketed.

Levitt noted that retail prices have yet to show the same declines wholesale prices have.

The retail margin, the difference between the price stores pay and the price they receive, was the second highest in history in April, Levitt said.

"Either some retailer is going to have a big sale, or Congress is going to get into the act" with special hearings on retail beef prices, Levitt said.

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