Cattle Prices Climb on Signs of Rising Beef Demand; Hogs Drop

Cattle rose for the first time in three days on signs of increasing demand for U.S. beef. Hog prices fell.

Meatpackers processed 619,000 cattle in the first five days of this week, up 3.7 percent from the same period a year earlier, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Beef-export sales were 14,188 metric tons (31.28 million pounds) in the week ended Jan. 17, up 34 percent from the four-week average, USDA data show.

“These packers are still needing cattle with the demand improving” on the domestic and export side, Lane Broadbent, a vice president at KIS Futures in Oklahoma City, said in a telephone interview.

Cattle futures for April delivery climbed 0.3 percent to settle at $1.3075 a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Prices are down 1.2 percent this month.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement closed unchanged at $1.4795 a pound on the CME.

Hog futures for April settlement slid 0.8 percent to close at 88.925 cents a pound in Chicago. Prices are up 3.7 percent this month.

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