Cattle Rise to One-Week High as Supply Shrinks; Hogs Gain

Cattle futures rose to a one-week high on signs of shrinking U.S. supplies of animals. Hog prices posted the biggest gain in almost six weeks.

Feedlots probably purchased or placed 1.5 percent fewer cattle last month compared to a year earlier, according to the average of 13 analysts in a Bloomberg survey. The Department of Agriculture will release inventory figures at 3 p.m. April 19 in Washington. At the start of 2013, the cattle herd was the smallest since 1952 after the most-severe drought since the 1930s cut livestock-feed supplies and damaged pastures.

“There will be a period of time where you’re just not going to have that many cattle come to market,” Christian Mayer, a market adviser at Northstar Commodity Investments Co. in Minneapolis, said in a telephone interview. “The amount of cattle in general is still going to be tight.”

Cattle futures for June delivery rose 1.1 percent to settle at $1.21825 a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, the price reached $1.22, the highest for the most-active contract since April 9. The commodity has dropped 7.9 percent this year.

Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement climbed 0.7 percent to $1.475 a pound.

Hog futures for June settlement rose 1.5 percent to 90.35 cents a pound, the biggest gain since March 7. The commodity has climbed 5.4 percent this year.

Meat demand will rise as people grill outdoors in warmer weather, Mayer said.

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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