Cattle futures rose, marking the biggest gain in two weeks, on signs of increasing demand for U.S. beef. Hog prices also increased.
Wholesale beef jumped 0.5 percent to $1.9497 a pound as of midday, the highest since Sept. 20, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. The 3.2 percent gain this month signals support for the meat market, said Chad Henderson, the president of Prime Agricultural Consultants Inc. Steers averaged $1.2389 a pound on spot markets last week, up 0.3 percent from a week earlier, government data show.
“You’ve got the good push in the beef,” Henderson said in a telephone interview from Brookfield, Wisconsin. “There’s really some optimism in here that this thing can run some.”
Cattle futures for December delivery gained 0.6 percent to settle at $1.26675 a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the biggest increase for the most-active contract since Oct. 1. Prices are up 4.3 percent this year.
Feeder-cattle futures for November settlement rose 1.5 percent to $1.47725 a pound in Chicago.
Hog futures for December settlement advanced 0.1 percent to 78.6 cents a pound in Chicago. Prices are down 6.8 percent this year.