Cattle Rise on Signs of Increasing U.S. Beef Demand

Cattle futures advanced, extending the longest rally in three months, on signs of increased demand for U.S. beef. Hog prices fell.

Wholesale beef rose 0.8 percent to a four-week high of $1.8533 a pound as of midday, signaling more demand, said Chad Henderson, an analyst at Prime Agricultural Consulting Inc. in Brookfield, Wisconsin. In the past 12 months, beef dropped 6.9 percent and pork declined 5 percent, while wholesale chicken breasts climbed 11 percent, government data show.

“The product trade is weaker on both beef and pork, while chicken is heading higher,” Henderson said in a telephone interview. “At some point, that can offer some support” for cattle, he said.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, cattle futures for April delivery rose 0.4 percent to settle at $1.29875 a pound at 1 p.m. The price climbed for the fourth straight session, the longest rally since Nov. 23.

Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement increased 0.1 percent to $1.4755 a pound on the CME.

Hog futures for April settlement dropped 0.7 percent to close at 81 cents a pound in Chicago. The price has slumped 9.3 percent this month, heading for the biggest decline since July.

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