Cattle futures continued their recent decline as fears over demand and falling feed costs pressured prices.
The June futures contract for cattle settled down 1.35 cents, or 1.2%, at $1.106 cents a pound, while the August contract fell 1.45 cents, or 1.3%, at $1.1307 a pound.
Futures for young cattle, known as feeders, declined as well. The May futures contract dropped 1.72 cents or 1.3%, to $1.2932 a pound, and the August contract fell 1.77 cents, or 1.3%, to $1.3305 a pound.
Analysts said cattle and hog prices had built in expectations for further records for corn prices and a seasonal uptick in pork and beef demand. Yet neither has materialized so far, with corn falling from record highs and soybean futures pulling back.
Further pressure came from cash markets where cattle prices were reported at mostly $1.15 a pound in Texas and Kansas, down one to two cents from the bulk of sales there last week. In Nebraska, dressed sales Tuesday were mostly at $1.85 a pound following some trades reported late Monday from $1.82 to $1.85 a pound. Sales in Nebraska last week were at mostly $1.87 to $1.88 a pound.
Yet boxed beef prices--a measure of wholesale prices--at midday Tuesday were reported higher with the choice carcass quoted up $0.73 at $182.52 per a hundred pounds and select quoted up $0.72 at $177.10 per a hundred pounds. Volume of beef sales was light at 96 total loads.
HedgersEdge.com reported the latest beef packer margin index at minus $28.05 per head, compared with minus $33.85 the previous day.