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Hogs Rebound on Signs of Climbing Meatpacker Demand; Cattle Gain

March 20 (Bloomberg) -- Hog prices climbed for the first time in four sessions on signs of increasing U.S. meatpacker demand for animals. Cattle also rose.

Meatpackers processed 1.278 million hogs in the first three days of this week, up 0.7 percent from a week earlier, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. That’s also 2.7 percent higher from a year earlier.

If packers are “demanding more hogs, there’s nothing bad about that,” Lawrence Kane, a market adviser at Stewart-Peterson Group in Yates City, Illinois, said in a telephone interview. “Apparently they have a margin to work with. It is a good thing for the business.”

Hog futures for June settlement rose 0.3 percent to close at 88.5 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Prices lost 2.5 percent in the previous three sessions.

Cattle futures for June delivery added 0.8 percent to settle at $1.219 a pound on the CME. The price is down 7.9 percent this year.

Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement slid 0.4 percent to $1.3985 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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