Cattle futures rose on speculation that U.S. meat purchases will increase as the weather warms up and more consumers grill outdoors. Hog prices also climbed.
Wholesale beef rose 0.2 percent to $1.9018 a pound as of midday, the highest in almost a week, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Meatpackers processed 244,000 cattle in the first two days of this week, up 1.7 percent from the previous week, government data show.
Prices are increasing on “the optimism that we’re getting closer to a timeframe that temperatures do start to warm up and better grilling and better demand,” Don Roose, the president of U.S. Commodities Inc. in West Des Moines, Iowa, said in a telephone interview.
Cattle futures for June delivery advanced 0.5 percent to settle at $1.2045 a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The price is down 9 percent this year.
Hog futures for June settlement added 0.5 percent to 89.025 cents a pound on the CME. Prices have risen 3.8 percent this year.
Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement climbed 0.1 percent to $1.46475 a pound.