Hogs Rally on Signs Chinese Pork Demand May Gain; Cattle Drop

Hog futures rallied, heading for the biggest gain in almost two weeks, on speculation that China, the world’s biggest pork consumer, may boost purchases of U.S. meat. Cattle fell.

Chinese pork prices rose 0.3 percent in the week ended July 7 from the previous week, the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on its website yesterday. Smithfield Foods Inc. (SFD) Chief Executive Officer C. Larry Pope is scheduled to testify today before the Senate Agricultural Committee about the proposed $4.7 billion acquisition of the world’s largest pork supplier by a Chinese company. The deal has fueled speculation that Chinese demand for U.S. pork will accelerate.

Chinese pork “prices were up,” Don Roose, the president of U.S. Commodities Inc. in West Des Moines, Iowa, said in a telephone interview. “Maybe they do try to slow that down and import more pork.”

Hog futures for August settlement climbed 1.2 percent to 96.275 cents a pound at 10 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, heading for the biggest gain for the most-active contract since June 27.

Cattle futures for August delivery slid 0.1 percent to $1.22625 a pound in Chicago. Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement slipped 0.2 percent to $1.5085 a pound.

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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