Cattle Climb Most in Three Months on U.S. Beef Demand; Hogs Rise

Cattle futures jumped the most in three months on speculation that U.S. beef demand is improving, spurring meatpackers to buy more animals. Hog prices rose.

Beef processors slaughtered 249,000 animals this week, up 3.8 percent from both last week and a year earlier, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Wholesale-beef prices rose 1.2 percent yesterday, the biggest gain since Oct. 17, according to the USDA.

“Meatpackers have got some bigger beef orders in front of them that they have to process going into the holidays,” Troy Vetterkind, the owner of Vetterkind Cattle Brokerage in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “We are seeing a little bit better demand.”

Cattle futures for February delivery rose 0.8 percent to close at $1.33025 a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the biggest gain for the contract since Aug. 8.

Hog futures for February settlement climbed 0.7 percent to 90.4 cents a pound on the CME.

Feeder-cattle futures for January settlement advanced 1 percent to $1.64375 a pound.

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