Hog Futures Rally as Demand for U.S. Pork May Improve; Cattle Price Gains

Hog prices climbed in Chicago on signs of increasing demand for U.S. pork. Cattle also gained.

Wholesale-pork prices, after slumping on Oct. 27 to the lowest level since March, gained 5.1 percent last week, the most since Aug. 20, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Meatpackers processed 2.34 million hogs last week, up 1.2 percent from a week earlier. The price of hogs for immediate delivery rose to the highest level since Oct. 27.

There’s “good demand for the hogs,” said Dennis Smith, a senior account executive at Archer Financial Services Inc. in Chicago. “We picked up some export business from the lower prices, maybe, last week. We’re seeing some domestic-ham and holiday-type business come to the market.”

Hog futures for December settlement rose 0.575 cent, or 0.9 percent, to 67.525 cents a pound at 10:28 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Before today, the commodity jumped 18 percent in the previous 12 months.

On Nov. 5, wholesale pork rose 0.3 percent to 77.46 cents a pound, the highest level since Oct. 19, and the spot-market hog price gained 1 percent to 59.67 cents a pound, USDA data show.

“Packers are making money,” Smith said. There’s “every incentive to keep this going” by processing as many hogs as possible, he said.

Cattle futures for December delivery rose 0.325 cent, or 0.3 percent, to 97.875 cents a pound on the CME. Before today, the price advanced 13 percent in 2010.

In the first four days of last week, steers for immediate delivery at slaughter houses averaged 97.62 cents a pound, down 2.3 percent from the previous week, USDA data show. On Nov. 5, the price of wholesale-choice beef fell 0.3 percent to $1.5856 a pound, the lowest level since Oct. 19.

Feeder-cattle futures for January settlement rose 0.1 cent to $1.10875 a pound.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Campbell in Chicago at ecampbell14@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net.

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