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Cattle Futures Soar by Limit

July 19, 1986|From Associated Press

Cattle futures prices soared to limit gains Friday after Brazil lifted its import restrictions and the U.S. government announced that it was investigating the possibility of improper growth-hormone use at 32 feedlots.

Brazil already has bought about 200 million pounds of beef from the United States this year and, with import restrictions eliminated, could buy a lot more, analysts said.

The feedlot investigation centers in Colorado, Texas and Kansas, where the Food and Drug Administration said investigators have found hormone pellets improperly used in animals at 32 feedlots.

"This could lead to some condemned meat or some restrictions on marketing at those feedlots," said Chuck Levitt, an analyst in Chicago with Shearson Lehman Bros. "I think the number of animals involved is quite small," Levitt said, but nonetheless had traders concerned.

Prices at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange also were helped by better beef movement this month than anticipated, he said.

Also beginning to drive the market, Levitt said, is a major Agriculture Department report coming out in a week that he believes will show a greatly reduced beef population in the nation.

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