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Hog Futures Advance on Signs of Pork Demand; Cattle Prices Gain

Hog prices climbed in Chicago on signs of increasing demand for U.S. pork. Cattle also gained.

Meatpackers processed 2.34 million hogs in the week ended Nov. 6, up 1.2 percent from a week earlier. Last week, wholesale-pork prices jumped 5.1 percent, the most since Aug. 20, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. The price has rebounded 6.2 percent from a seven-month low reached on Oct. 27.

There’s “good demand for the hogs,” said Dennis Smith, a senior account executive at Archer Financial Services Inc. in Chicago. “We picked up some export business from the lower prices, maybe, last week. We’re seeing some domestic-ham and holiday-type business come to the market.”

Hog futures for December settlement rose 0.2 cent, or 0.3 percent, to settle at 67.15 cents a pound at 1:17 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The commodity has jumped 21 percent in the previous 12 months.

The price of hogs for immediate delivery rose to the highest level since Oct. 27.

“Packers are making money,” Smith said. There’s “every incentive to keep this going” by processing as many hogs as possible, he said.

Cattle futures for December delivery rose 0.85 cent, or 0.9 percent, to settle at 98.4 cents a pound on the CME. The price has advanced 14 percent in 2010.

Last week, steers for immediate delivery at slaughter houses averaged 97.61 cents a pound, down 2.1 percent from the previous week, USDA data show. At midday, the price of wholesale-choice beef rose 0.6 percent to $1.5944 a pound.

Feeder-cattle futures for January settlement rose 0.85 cent, or 0.8 percent, to $1.11625 a pound.

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