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Cattle Futures Gain on Signs of Higher Beef-Export Demand

Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Cattle futures rose on signs of increasing demand for U.S. beef and shrinking animal supplies. Hogs fell.

Beef-export sales were 23,722 metric tons (52.3 million pounds) in the week ended Dec. 20, up 24 percent from the four-week average, U.S. Department of Agriculture data showed today. Feedlots have fewer cattle available for sale, said Lane Broadbent, a vice president at KIS Futures in Oklahoma City.

“Our show-list size continues to get tighter,” Broadbent said in a telephone interview. “After the first of the year, beef demand usually shows back up again” because people have been eating turkey and ham for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, he said.

Cattle futures for February delivery rose 0.4 percent to settle at $1.33575 a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The price has gained 10 percent this year.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement climbed 0.6 percent to close at $1.54725 a pound.

Hog futures for February settlement fell 0.7 percent to settle at 86.375 cents a pound. The price is up 2.5 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Campbell in Chicago at ecampbell14@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Patrick McKiernan at pmckiernan@bloomberg.net

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