Cattle Rise to Seven-Week High on Beef Outlook; Hogs Drop

Cattle futures rallied to a seven-week high on speculation that lower prices for beef will spur increased demand for animals. Hog prices fell.

Wholesale beef slipped 0.6 percent to $1.9633 a pound at midday, heading for the lowest since April 29, government data show. The price has dropped 7.1 percent from $2.1137 on May 23, the highest since at least January 2004.

“Beef probably has come down to a level that has found some demand,” Christian Mayer, a market analyst at Northstar Commodity Investments in Minneapolis, said in a telephone interview.

Cattle futures for August delivery climbed 0.9 percent to settle at $1.22175 a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. After the close, the price reached $1.2235, the highest for a most-active contract since May 6.

Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement climbed 0.7 percent to $1.48925 a pound. The price climbed for the fourth straight session, the longest rally in five months.

Hog futures for August settlement fell 0.1 percent to close at 97.65 cents a pound. Earlier, the price climbed as much as 0.8 percent.

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