Cattle prices capped the biggest gain in almost two weeks on speculation that U.S. beef supplies will shrink as feedlots add fewer animals. Hog futures rose.
About 10 percent fewer cattle were added to feedlots last month compared to July 2012, government data showed on Aug. 23, after the close of regular trading. The price of corn, a feed ingredient, climbed as much as 8.1 percent on the Chicago Board of Trade as a heat wave in the Midwest threatens crop yields. Animals use more energy to stay cool amid higher temperatures, curbing weight gains.
“The cattle-on-feed report was positive,” Don Roose, the president of U.S. Commodities Inc. in West Des Moines, Iowa, said in a telephone interview. “The grain moving higher should be supportive. The other issue is the intense heat typically cuts weights.”
Cattle futures for October delivery climbed 0.4 percent to close at $1.2715 a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, marking the biggest gain for the most-active contract since Aug. 13.
Feeder-cattle futures for October settlement slid 1.9 percent to $1.5585 a pound.
Hog futures for October settlement rose 1.1 percent to 86.025 cents a pound. Prices declined 1.9 percent last week.