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Hogs Surge Most in 16 Months as U.S. Pork Demand Climbs

May 31 (Bloomberg) -- Hog futures surged the most in 16 months on signs of increasing demand for U.S. pork. Cattle prices also rose.

In the wholesale market, the price of pork headed for the biggest monthly gain since July, while loins yesterday rose the most in more than a week, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. That rally indicates high meat sales for the Memorial Day holiday weekend, which ended May 28, said Doug Houghton, an analyst at Brock Associates.

“The loin-price increase would seem to indicate good grilling demand,” Houghton said in a telephone interview from Milwaukee.

Hog futures for July settlement rose by the exchange limit of 3 cents, or 3.4 percent, to settle at 91 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the highest for a most-active contract since April 13. The gain was the largest since Jan. 26, 2011.

This month, the commodity increased 5.9 percent, matching the monthly gain in September. Today’s rally was the biggest among the 24 raw materials in the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index.

Cattle futures for August delivery advanced 0.8 percent to $1.189 a pound in Chicago. In May, the commodity climbed 4.2 percent, the most since January.

At midday, wholesale beef advanced 0.4 percent to $1.9777 a pound, the highest since March 6, government data show. The price has climbed 11 percent in the past 12 months.

Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement increased 0.5 percent to $1.568 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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