Hog Futures Climb as U.S. Cold May Hinder Supply; Cattle Steady

Hog futures rallied to the highest price since July on speculation that cold weather is disrupting the movement of animals. Cattle were little changed.

Temperatures in parts of southern Minnesota reached minus 10 degrees to minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 23 to minus 26 Celsius) this week, and parts of Iowa were at zero to minus 5 degrees, Joel Widenor, a vice president for Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, said in a telephone interview.

“Moving livestock is challenging” in frigid weather, Lawrence Kane, a market adviser at Stewart-Peterson Group, said in a telephone interview from Yates City, Illinois. “The logistics just get that much tougher when it’s cold.”

Hog futures for April settlement rose 1.9 percent to close at 89.675 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, marking the biggest gain since Jan. 11. Earlier, the price reached 90.15 cents, the highest for a most-active contract since July 9.

Wholesale pork rose 0.3 percent to 85.08 cents a pound yesterday, the highest since Dec. 6, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Spot hogs rallied 0.9 percent to 84.68 cents a pound yesterday, the highest since Dec. 5, according to the USDA.

Cattle futures for April delivery fell 0.1 percent to settle at $1.3035 a pound in Chicago. Prices are down 1.5 percent this month.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement rose 0.5 percent to $1.4795 a pound on the CME.

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