Hog futures jumped the most in two weeks on signs of increasing U.S. pork demand. Cattle prices were little changed.
Wholesale-pork prices are up 1.3 percent this year, compared with a 1.3 percent decline for the same period in 2012, U.S. Department of Agriculture data showed. The meat reached 83.46 cents a pound on Jan. 4, the highest since Dec. 18, and prices were unchanged yesterday, USDA data show. Meatpackers processed 432,000 hogs yesterday, 0.9 percent more than a year earlier, government figures show.
“We’ve got good movement, and prices have been grinding higher,” Chad Henderson, the president of Prime Agricultural Consultants Inc. in Brookfield, Wisconsin, said in a telephone interview. “That just gives some support underneath this market.”
Hog futures for February settlement climbed 0.7 percent to 86.9 cents a pound at 9:22 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, heading for the biggest gain for a most-active contract since Dec. 24.
Cattle futures for February delivery rose less than 0.1 percent to $1.33075 a pound on the CME. Last week, prices fell 0.5 percent, the first drop since Nov. 30.
Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement dropped 0.2 percent to $1.55825 a pound.
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