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Hog Prices Gain on Speculation Pork Demand to Rise; Cattle Slide

Hog prices rose on speculation that U.S. demand is increasing as more consumers buy meat to grill outdoors in the warmer-than-normal weather. Cattle dropped.

Wholesale-pork prices rose 0.5 percent to 78.54 cents a pound on April 6, the biggest increase in a week, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Spot hogs climbed 4.2 percent last week, the most since October, USDA data show. The first three months of 2012 have been the warmest on record in the contiguous U.S., according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“You had the cash markets stronger late last week,” Doug Houghton, an analyst at Brock Associates in Milwaukee, said in a telephone interview. “People are looking for a seasonal rally” with the increase of grilling, he said.

Hog futures for June settlement rose 0.1 percent to settle at 93.6 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The commodity has climbed 11 percent this year.

Cattle futures for June delivery fell less than 0.1 percent to $1.15775 a pound. The commodity has dropped 4.7 percent this year.

Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement climbed less than 0.1 percent to $1.51025 a pound.

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