Cattle Jump to 2-Week High as Animal Demand Rises; Hogs Steady

Cattle rallied to a two-week high on signs of increasing demand for U.S. beef. Hog prices were little changed.

Beef-export sales totaled 17,340 metric tons (38.2 million pounds) in the week ended March 21, 29 percent more than the four-week average, U.S. Department of Agriculture data showed today. The domestic feedlot herd totaled 10.857 million head as of March 1, down 7 percent from a year earlier, the USDA said in a report on March 22.

“Packers are in a position where they need to buy cattle,” Lane Broadbent, a vice president at KIS Futures Inc. in Oklahoma City, said by telephone. “They think demand is going to show up. Our supplies are still very tight.”

Cattle futures for June delivery climbed 0.8 percent to $1.24 a pound at 10:03 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, after touching $1.24075, the highest for a most-active contract since March 13.

Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement rose 1.1 percent to $1.437 a pound on the CME.

Hog futures for June settlement were little changed, down less than 0.1 percent at 90.65 cents a pound on the CME.

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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