Lean hog futures also fell Thursday after pork prices continued their sharp decline on worries about demand after the Labor Day holiday weekend.

October hog futures fell 0.32 cent, or 0.4%, to 85.17 cents a pound in trading at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. CME December hog futures fell 0.9 cent, or 1.1%, to 82.00 cents a pound.

Traders continued to push down prices after cash prices and also wholesale pork values, which are released daily after trading, again fell sharply on Wednesday.

The USDA's pork carcass composite value, a measure of wholesale prices, was down $1.55 at $96.48 a hundred pounds, the lowest since July 5. Cash prices for hogs have been steadily falling at about $1 to $2 a day as supplies continue their seasonal rise, which is likely to last until at least November.

The recent declines have been more severe than many traders and analysts initially expected.

Cash hog bids were reported $1 to $2 per hundred pounds lower on light buying interest ahead of the Labor Day holiday weekend and seasonal supply growth.

The terminal markets traded from $1 to as much as $5 per hundredweight lower on a live basis with top prices from $57.50 to $60.00.

The weekend slaughter is projected at 45,000 to 50,000 head, and the week's total around 2.125 million to 2.130 million. Slaughter this week a year ago was 2.121 million. Weekly slaughters are expected to grow further into the fall. The largest weekly figure in 2010 was 2.344 million hit mid-December.