Hog Prices Climb on Signs of Rebounding Pork Demand

Hog futures rose on signs of higher demand for U.S. pork. Cattle prices rebounded from the lowest in almost three months.

Last week, the Lean-Hog Index, a measure of spot prices, climbed to the highest premium over futures in three months as prices on the Chicago Mercantile posted the biggest drop this year. U.S. pork shipments rose to a record 2.26 million metric tons (4.98 billion pounds) in 2012, the U.S. Meat Export Federation said today.

The decline in futures was “overdone” compared with the spot index, signaling a “bounce” in prices on the CME, Dennis Smith, an analyst at Archer Financial Services, said in a telephone interview.

Hog futures for April settlement increased 0.3 percent to close at 86.375 cents a pound at 1 p.m. in Chicago. Last week, the price dropped 3 percent, the most since early December.

Cattle futures for April delivery rose 0.2 percent to $1.3035 a pound on the CME. Earlier, the price touched $1.2895, the lowest since Nov. 15.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement fell 0.1 percent to close at $1.448 a pound, the seventh straight decline.

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