Hog futures, little changed in Chicago, may rise on speculation that an outbreak of a pig disease will curb U.S. pork production. Cattle increased.
The disease called porcine epidemic diarrhea virus has spread to at least 13 states, and a June 19 report showed the most confirmed cases were in Iowa, the biggest U.S. hog producer. The virus can kill young pigs, according to the American Association of Swine Veterinarians. As of June 1, the number of the animals under 50 pounds (22.7 kilograms) was 1 percent lower from a year earlier, the U.S Department of Agriculture said after the close of trading June 28.
The disease is creating concern that “perhaps this is a bigger deal than anyone is giving it credit for,” Ryan Turner, a risk-management consultant at FCStone Group Inc., said in a telephone interview from Kansas City, Missouri. “Maybe we’ll have less production in the fourth quarter than people are thinking.”
Hog futures for August settlement rose 0.1 percent to 97.55 cents a pound at 11:08 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Prices climbed 7 percent last quarter and were up 14 percent this year through June 28, the biggest gain among the 24 commodities tracked by the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index.
Wholesale pork climbed 1.8 percent last week, the fourth straight gain, and reached $1.1133 a pound on June 26, the highest since at least October 1997, USDA data show.
Cattle futures for August delivery rose 0.5 percent to $1.22625 a pound on the CME.
Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement climbed 0.9 percent to $1.50825 a pound.
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