Cattle futures rose for the third time in four sessions on signs of shrinking U.S. supply of animals available to beef processors. Hogs declined.
About 1.482 million young cattle were placed into feedlots last month, 14 percent less than a year earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a March 22 report after the close of trading in Chicago. The February placements were the lowest for that month since the government began tracking the data in 1996.
The report “is supportive” for cattle prices, Dennis Smith, an analyst at Archer Financial Services, said in a telephone interview.
Cattle futures for June delivery climbed 0.2 percent to $1.21425 a pound at 9:50 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Prices dropped 8.4 percent this year through March 22.
Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement rose 0.3 percent to $1.407 a pound in Chicago.
Hog futures for June settlement fell 0.2 percent to 89.525 cents a pound in Chicago. The price was up 4.7 percent this year through March 22.
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