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Hog Futures Rally on Signs of Rising Pork Demand; Cattle Steady

Hog futures climbed the most in more than a week on signs of increasing demand for U.S. pork. Cattle prices were unchanged.

In Iowa and southern Minnesota, meatpackers processed 392,000 hogs in the week ended Jan. 5, up 14 percent from the same period a week earlier, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Spot hogs climbed 0.5 percent to 82.77 cents a pound yesterday, the highest since Dec. 6, government figures show.

“The demand is underneath the market, especially if we see a break” in wholesale prices, Lawrence Kane, a market adviser at Stewart-Peterson Group, said in a telephone interview from Yates City, Illinois.

Hog futures for February settlement rose 0.5 percent to close at 84.6 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. That marks the biggest gain for the most-active contract since Jan. 2.

Cattle futures for February delivery settled unchanged at $1.3155 a pound on the CME. Prices lost 1.1 percent in the previous two sessions.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement slipped 0.6 percent to $1.52925 a pound in Chicago.

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