Hogs Rally to Two-Year High on Surging Pork Demand; Cattle Climb

Hog futures surged to a two-year high in Chicago on signs of increasing demand for U.S. pork. Cattle prices also advanced.

Export sales of pork totaled 18,607 metric tons (41.02 million pounds) in the week ended June 20, the most since March, when the data began, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Wholesale-pork prices have jumped 28 percent since the end of April, reaching $1.1133 a pound yesterday, the highest since at least October 1997, government data show.

“Product value just keeps exploding,” Lou Arens, a broker at PCI Advisory Services in Waucoma, Iowa, said in a telephone interview.

Hog futures for August settlement rallied 1.8 percent to close at 99.4 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, after reaching 99.8 cents, the highest for a most-active contract since April 25, 2011. Prices are up 16 percent this year.

Cattle futures for August delivery rose 0.6 percent to settle $1.22925 a pound on the CME, after reaching $1.23125, the highest for a most-active contract since May 3. Prices are down 7.1 percent this year.

Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement climbed 0.5 percent to close at $1.497 a pound, capping a five-session rally, the longest this year.

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