Cattle Climb as Second Storm May Disrupt Supplies; Hogs Drop

Cattle climbed on speculation that a second snowstorm in the U.S. Great Plains will disrupt movement of animals and beef supplies. Hogs dropped.

Blizzard warnings from eastern New Mexico through the Texas Panhandle into Oklahoma and Kansas, according to the National Weather Service. Winter-storm warnings and advisories reach across Missouri, Arkansas and Illinois into Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. Parts of the Midwest received more than a foot (30 centimeters) of snow last week.

“You had improving cash trade on Friday,” Mark Schultz, the chief analyst for Northstar Commodity Investment Co. in Minneapolis, said in a telephone interview. “Hopefully, that spills into a little more because of the winter storm coming in. You’ve got a lot of high winds and blizzard conditions” that disrupts supplies and “backs them up a little bit,” he said.

Cattle futures for April delivery rose 0.3 percent to $1.2865 a pound at 9:37 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Prices were down 3.1 percent this year through Feb. 22.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement slid 0.3 percent to $1.4085 a pound.

The cattle-on-feed report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture after the close of regular trading on Feb. 22 was “encouraging” for the market as feedlots sold 5.6 percent more cattle to slaughterhouses in January than a year earlier, Schultz said. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast a 4.6 percent increase.

Pork inventories rose 3.4 percent at the end of January from a year earlier, the USDA said in a separate report after the close of regular trading on Feb. 22. The cold-storage report was “a little negative,” Schultz said.

Hog futures for April settlement declined 0.6 percent to 81.125 cents a pound. A close at that price would mark the ninth straight drop, the longest losing streak since Oct. 6, 2008.

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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