Hog futures climbed on speculation that lower pork prices will encourage U.S. consumers to favor the meat over more costly beef. Cattle rose.
Wholesale pork prices slumped 3.9 percent last week to 81.72 cents a pound, the biggest slide since Nov. 16, while wholesale beef added 0.9 percent to $1.9469 a pound, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Cattle futures jumped 13 percent in the past six months as supplies tightened, reaching record highs the past three sessions.
“If the cattle can continue to move higher, eventually that should spell at least better demand in the pork sector down the road,” Mark Schultz, the chief analyst at Northstar Commodity Investment Co., said in a telephone interview from Minneapolis.
Hog futures for February settlement increased 0.1 percent to 84.8 cents a pound at 10:51 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Prices are up 0.5 percent this year through yesterday.
Cattle futures for February delivery climbed 0.2 percent to $1.3375 a pound, after reaching $1.3405, the highest ever for the most-active contract. Prices are up 9.9 percent this year through yesterday.
Feeder-cattle futures for January settlement rose less than 0.1 percent to $1.54325 a pound on the CME.
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