Hogs Futures Rise on Signs Chinese Pork Demand May Gain

Hog futures rose for the first time in three days on speculation that China, the world’s biggest pork consumer, may boost purchases of meat from the U.S. Cattle prices fell.

Chinese pork prices rose 0.3 percent in the week ended July 7 from a week earlier, the government said yesterday. C. Larry Pope, the chief executive officer of Smithfield Foods Inc., the top pork supplier, testified today before a Senate committee on the proposed $4.7 billion acquisition of his company by Shuanghui International Ltd. in China. The deal fueled speculation that demand in the Asian nation for pork will jump.

Chinese pork “prices were up,” Don Roose, the president of U.S. Commodities Inc. in West Des Moines, Iowa, said in a telephone interview. “Maybe they do try to slow that down and import more pork.”

Hog futures for August settlement climbed 0.6 percent to close at 95.7 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The price fell 2.6 percent in the previous two days.

Shuanghui’s purchase “creates a terrific opportunity through growth in exports for U.S. hog farmers,” Smithfield said today in a statement.

Cattle futures for August delivery slid 0.5 percent to $1.22075 a pound.

Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement slipped 0.4 percent to $1.5055 a pound. The price dropped for the third straight day, the longest slump in seven weeks.

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