Cattle Climb Most in Week as Demand Gains; Hogs Decline

Cattle futures gained the most in a week on speculation that mild U.S. weather will lead to higher beef demand as more Americans grill outdoors. Hog prices fell.

Yesterday, wholesale beef rose 0.4 percent to $1.8766, the biggest increase in four weeks, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Prices slipped 0.3 percent as of midday. Most of the Midwest will have below normal temperatures in the next six to 10 days after a recent heat wave, according to MDA Weather Services. Hot weather can slow grilling demand as fewer consumers cook outdoors.

“Packers may see some increased business next week as retailers feature more beef coming into the first of August, and of course the high heat throughout much of the country has subsided,” Troy Vetterkind, the owner of Vetterkind Cattle Brokerage LLC in Thorp, Wisconsin, said in an e-mailed report. “Higher beef-trim markets and steady ground-beef markets yesterday could be a precursor to some of this increased business.”

Cattle futures for October delivery climbed 0.3 percent to settle at $1.2585 a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, marking the biggest gain since July 18.

Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement rose 0.2 percent to $1.526 a pound.

Hog futures for October settlement dropped 1.4 percent to close at 84.8 cents a pound, the biggest decline for the most-active contract since July 8.

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