Hog Futures Rise as U.S. Keeps Meat Inspectors on the Job

March 21 (Bloomberg) -- Hog futures rose the most in two weeks, after Congress approved a U.S. spending plan to avoid a government shutdown that will help avert furloughs of meat inspectors. Cattle also rose.

The measure, which would fund federal agencies through Sept. 30, includes provisions aimed at preventing furloughs triggered by automatic cuts in federal spending. The bill shifts $55 million to the Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to help avoid pulling inspectors from meat plants, which are barred from running without federal oversight.

“The fear that they were going to shut off the processing plants is out of the market now,” Lou Arens, a broker at PCI Advisory Services in Waucoma, Iowa, said in a telephone interview.

Hog futures for June settlement climbed 1.2 percent to close at 89.55 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the biggest gain for the most-active contract since March 7. The price has climbed 4.5 percent this year.

Cattle futures for June delivery rose 0.1 percent to $1.22 a pound. The price has dropped 7.8 percent this year.

Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement advanced 0.4 percent to $1.40475 a pound.

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