Pork futures prices collapses Friday under the weight of a weakening cash market and the prospect of more hogs coming to slaughter during November.
Live hog futures and pork bellies plunged the limit allowed for daily trading on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
On some other markets, energy futures were stronger while precious metals retreated.
"We had the biggest hog slaughter of the fall yesterday," said Chuck Levitt, an analyst in Chicago with Shearson Lehman Bros. "That along with the pressure on pork loins, fresh bellies and the like was just too much for the market to bear." "And November promises a larger daily slaughter than in October," he said. An average of 315,000 to 320,000 hogs are expected to be marketed daily in November, against 290,000 to 295,000 in October.
"This has the market nervous, especially in view of the light retailer demand for pork products in October," Levitt said.
Cattle futures had some strength from firming wholesale beef prices, "but traders were looking over their shoulder" at the pork pit and the spillover pressure weakened cattle, he said.