Hogs Gain Most in Week on Signs of Rising Demand; Cattle Steady

Hog futures rose for the first time in a week on signs of increasing demand for U.S. pork. Cattle prices were little changed.

Meatpackers are probably earning $10 to $12 per hog slaughtered, according to Northstar Commodity Investment Co. About 376,000 of the animals were processed in the week ended July 27 in the Iowa and southern Minnesota region, up 5.6 percent from a year earlier, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Wholesale pork increased 1.2 percent to $1.0121 a pound yesterday, the highest since July 12, USDA data show. Futures lost 4 percent in the previous four sessions.

“Packer margins get back in the black a little bit,” Mark Schultz, a chief analyst at Northstar Commodity Investment Co., said in a telephone interview from Minneapolis. “Bottom line is you still have a market that’s been down hard and probably gets a little bit of a bounce.”

Hog futures for October settlement climbed 0.2 percent to close at 83.325 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The commodity has declined 2.8 percent this year.

Cattle futures for October delivery fell 0.1 percent to $1.25475 a pound on the CME. Prices are down 5.2 percent this year. Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement added 0.1 percent to $1.53425 a pound.

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