Cattle Prices Advance to One-Week High on Supply Outlook

Cattle rose to a one-week high on signs that tight supplies will shrink U.S. beef output. Hog futures climbed.

Spot steer prices jumped 3.9 percent to $1.34 a pound from a week earlier, U.S. Department of Agriculture data showed. Beef production will decline 5.9 percent in 2014 after a 1.2 percent drop this year, the agency has forecast.

“We are just now starting a period of cattle supply deficits,” Rich Nelson, the director of research at Allendale Inc. in McHenry, Illinois, said in a telephone interview.

Cattle futures for February delivery rose 0.8 percent to close at $1.341 a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. After the settlement, the price reached $1.3445, the highest for a most-active contract since Nov. 18.

Feeder-cattle futures for January settlement gained 0.6 percent to $1.65325 a pound. The price reached $1.655, the highest since Nov. 18.

Hog futures for February settlement climbed 0.1 percent to 90.475 cents a pound.

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