Cattle Futures Extend Rally on Tightening U.S. Supply

Cattle futures rose, extending the longest rally in three months, on signs that supplies tightened after winter storms across the central U.S. disrupted animal shipments and spurred weight losses. Hogs also increased.

Wholesale beef rose 0.9 percent yesterday to $1.8557 a pound, a four-week high, the latest government figures showed. The second major storm in two weeks covered the southern Great Plains with more than 12 inches (30 centimeters) of snow. During cold weather, livestock use more energy to stay warm, leading to lower weight.

“There’s still talk, especially in the southern Plains area, of problems with these snowstorms,” Dick Quiter, an account executive at McFarland Commodities LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “There are just not as many cattle available. Also, they’re probably losing weight.”

Cattle futures for April delivery increased 0.2 percent to $1.301 a pound at 10:23 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The price rose for the fifth straight session, the longest rally since Nov. 23.

Through yesterday, the commodity dropped 2.2 percent in February, snapping a four-month rally.

Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement fell 0.1 percent to $1.47375 a pound.

Hog futures for April settlement rose 0.2 percent to 81.175 cents a pound. Through yesterday, the price dropped 9.3 percent this month, heading for the biggest decline since July.

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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