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Hog Futures Climb on Increasing Pork Demand; Cattle Prices Drop

Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Hog futures rose for the third day this week on signs of increasing U.S. demand for pork. Cattle prices fell.

Wholesale pork rose 1.2 percent to 87.69 cents a pound yesterday, the highest since Aug. 21, and prices are up 16 percent from a 22-month low on Sept. 19, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Yesterday, hogs for immediate delivery to slaughterhouses rose 0.4 percent to 79.33 cents a pound, and prices are up 1.3 percent this year, according to the USDA.

“We have been able to move pork,” Don Roose, the president of U.S. Commodities Inc. in West Des Moines, Iowa, said in a telephone interview. “We have been able to make money. We’ve been eating through the large supply.”

Hog futures for December settlement rose 1.1 percent to settle at 78.375 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Prices advanced 2.4 percent this week, the second straight gain.

Cattle futures for December delivery fell 0.3 percent to settle at $1.255 a pound in Chicago. Prices are up 3.3 percent this year.

Meatpackers processed 613,000 head of cattle in the first five days of this week, up 1 percent from a week earlier, USDA data show.

“With the scarcity of feed, you’re going to see this continued culling as we work our way into the fall,” Mike North, a senior risk-management adviser at First Capitol Ag in Platteville, Wisconsin, said in a telephone interview. “We could see more animals working their way to the market in the next several weeks, and that could provide some pressure to price.”

Feeder-cattle futures for November settlement advanced 0.3 percent to $1.44225 a pound in Chicago.

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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