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Hog Prices Rise Most in Week on U.S. Pork Outlook; Cattle Steady

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July 5 (Bloomberg) -- Hog futures rose the most in a week on speculation that demand for U.S. pork will remain strong on signs of hot, dry weather during the busiest time of year for outdoor grilling. Cattle prices were unchanged.

Temperatures may be above normal across the western third of the U.S. and the eastern seaboard over the next six to 10 days, the National Weather Service reported today. The high in Chicago over the weekend may reach 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29 Celsius), according to Weather.com. Meatpackers slaughtered 1.27 million hogs this week as of July 3, up 5.2 percent from a year earlier, government data show.

“If demand stays strong, the futures can stay strong,” Dick Quiter, an account executive at McFarland Commodities LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview.

Hog futures for August settlement rose 0.9 percent to close at 97.75 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Prices are up 14 percent this year. The market was closed yesterday for the Independence Day holiday, which the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association says is the most-popular day for outdoor cookouts.

Cattle futures for August delivery settled unchanged at $1.2195 a pound on the CME. Prices are down 7.8 percent this year. Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement added 0.6 percent to $1.518 a pound.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jen Skerritt in Winnipeg at jskerritt1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net

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