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Hog Futures Extend Rally as Grocers Buy More Pork; Cattle Fall

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Aug. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Hog futures rose, capping the longest rally in more than a month, on signs that U.S. grocers are buying more pork in preparation for the Labor Day holiday on Sept. 5. Cattle declined.

Wholesale pork gained 0.9 percent last week, climbing to a record $1.1019 a pound on Aug. 8, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. On Aug. 11, the government lowered its estimate of pork production for next year.

“We usually see buying three weeks ahead of time for these holidays,” Rich Nelson, the director of research at Allendale Inc. in McHenry, Illinois, said in a telephone interview. “We are seeing supplies tighten more than people were expecting.”

Hog futures for October settlement gained 0.5 cent, or 0.6 percent, to close at 89.975 cents a pound at 1:12 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, rising for the third straight session, the longest rally since July 7. The most-active contract has advanced 21 percent in the past year.

Labor Day is the second-most popular day for barbecues, with 75 percent of U.S. grillers cooking out, a National Cattlemen’s Beef Association study found. Independence Day ranks No. 1.

Cattle futures for October delivery fell 0.35 cent, or 0.3 percent, to settle at $1.201 a pound on the CME. The commodity has jumped 26 percent in the past 12 months.

Wholesale beef climbed to $1.8113 a pound, the highest since July 14. Cash prices gained because animals weigh less on average in the summer heat, Don Roose, the president of U.S. Commodities Inc. in West Des Moines, Iowa, said by telephone.

Recently, “temperatures have moderated quite a bit in the Corn Belt, and that’s going to add a bit of tonnage,” he said.

Feeder-cattle futures for October settlement gained 0.375 cent, or 0.3 percent, to close at $1.39075 a pound in Chicago.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Chappatta in Chicago at bchappatta@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net

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