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Hogs Gain Most in a Week on Meatpacker Demand; Cattle Advance

Jan. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Hog prices climbed the most in more than a week on signs of increasing demand from U.S. pork processors. Cattle futures rose.

Meatpackers probably will buy more this week after the Christmas and New Year’s holidays because of “seasonal” demand, said Doug Houghton, an analyst at Brock Associates in Milwaukee. Demand for commodities also got a boost as the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index headed for the biggest increase in two weeks, and the dollar dropped as much as 0.9 percent against a basket of six major currencies.

“People are looking forward to the pork market strengthening as we come out of the holidays, and a restocking of supplies,” Houghton said in a telephone interview. “A bounce in overall economic optimism” is also sending prices higher, he said.

Hog futures for February settlement advanced 1.5 percent to settle at 85.525 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the biggest climb since Dec. 23.

Cattle futures for February delivery rose 0.1 percent to settle at $1.2155 a pound, the first gain since Dec. 23.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement gained 0.4 percent to $1.49425 a pound on the CME.

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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