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Livestock Prices Off Sharply

From Associated Press

Livestock and meat prices fell sharply Tuesday on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange as supplies continued to overwhelm demand for meat.

Hog futures led the decline, as meatpackers were able to buy all the animals they needed early in the day, indicating that plenty of hogs still are available, said Tom Morgan, a livestock analyst with Heinold Commodities.

Morgan said that, in the past five weeks, the hog slaughter has been exceeding expectations by about 75,000 head a week.

In addition, demand has slipped because of strikes at several meatpacking plants, he added.

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Pork bellies were under pressure primarily from the same factors, and several contracts fell by the daily limit of 2 cents a pound.

Hogs also pressured the cattle market, as did the continued heavy supplies of fed cattle being marketed. Weights of cattle also indicated that supplies are plentiful, as slaughter weights in the Texas Panhandle last week were 40 pounds above average and the highest of the year, Morgan said.

Grain and soybean futures prices were mostly lower.


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