Hogs Jump on Signs Consumer Pork Demand May Climb; Cattle Fell

Hog prices rose on speculation that demand for pork may increase as U.S. consumers buy more of the meat as a cheaper alternative to beef. Cattle fell.

Wholesale pork fetched 85.46 cents a pound yesterday, compared with $1.8676 for beef, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Wholesale chicken breasts at Georgia docks are up 6.6 percent in the past year, at $1.615 a pound, government data show.

“You’ve got to be a little bit more positive” on pork products, Chad Henderson, the president of Prime Agriculture Consulting Inc. in Brookfield, Wisconsin, said in a telephone interview. “They are more competitive compared to the other meats.”

Hog futures for April settlement rose 0.1 percent to close at 89.35 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, capping a 4.2 percent advance for the month.

Cattle futures for April delivery dropped 0.1 percent to settle at $1.328 a pound in Chicago, the third straight decline. Prices still ended the month up 0.4 percent, the fourth straight gain.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement added 0.3 percent to $1.4955 a pound on the CME. Prices fell 3.1 percent this month, the biggest slide since July.

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