Hogs Rise on Speculation Animal Supply May Tighten; Cattle Drop

Hog futures advanced for the first time in four sessions on speculation that animal supplies in the U.S. may shrink. Cattle prices fell.

Wholesale pork rose 0.5 percent to $1.0482 a pound yesterday, the highest since Aug. 22, 2011, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, a hog disease that has spread to at least 11 states, may slow weight gain and shrink pig litters, said Lawrence Kane, a senior market adviser at Stewart-Peterson Group.

Concern over “supply getting tighter, with this hog disease,” has fueled the price gain, Kane said in a telephone interview from Yates City, Illinois. “It’s an unknown, and it’s scary to us right now.”

Hog futures for August settlement rose 0.7 percent to close at 97.3 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The contract is up 4.1 percent in June, heading for a third straight monthly gain.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported a detection of PEDV on May 17 and noted that it doesn’t affect people and is not a food-safety concern. Spot hogs added 0.4 percent to 99.58 cents a pound yesterday, the sixth gain in seven sessions, government data show.

Cattle futures for August delivery declined 0.2 percent to $1.19025 a pound in Chicago. Prices are down 10 percent this year.

Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement slipped 0.5 percent to $1.438 a pound.

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