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Cattle Gain Most in Week on Rising U.S. Beef Demand; Hogs Steady

May 2 (Bloomberg) -- Cattle futures rose the most in a week on signs of climbing demand for U.S. beef. Hogs were little changed.

Wholesale beef rose 0.4 percent to $2.003 a pound, the highest since at least January 2004, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Prices are up 3.2 percent this year. Spot steers averaged $1.289 a pound in the first three days of this week, up 7.6 percent from the same period a year earlier, government data show.

“When you’ve got better meat prices, cash can follow that, and those fundamentals can help the futures rally too,” Paul Beere, a grain and livestock adviser at Prime Agricultural Consultants in Brookfield, Wisconsin, said in a telephone interview. “It’s the temperatures warming up, and you’re starting to see people grill out.”

Cattle futures for June delivery rose 1 percent to settle at $1.2365 a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the biggest increase for the most-active contract since April 24.

Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement climbed 0.6 percent to $1.4965 a pound.

Hog futures for June settlement fell 0.1 percent to close at 92.825 cents a pound. Prices gained 8.3 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: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net.

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