Cattle prices rose for the first time in three sessions on signs of increasing demand for U.S. beef. Hog futures climbed the most in a week.
Beef-export sales were 67,124 metric tons (147.98 million pounds) in the week ended Jan. 3, up 56 percent from the four- week average, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Spot steers averaged $1.2799 in the first two days of this week, up 0.6 percent from a week earlier, government data show.
“When you look at the export numbers, that is an area that continues to be a bright spot here,” Don Roose, the president of U.S. Commodities Inc. in West Des Moines, Iowa, said in a telephone interview.
Cattle futures for February delivery increased 0.2 percent to $1.31775 a pound at 9:56 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Prices lost 1.1 percent in the previous two sessions.
Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement slipped less than 0.1 percent to $1.53725 a pound in Chicago.
Hog futures for February settlement rose 0.2 percent to 84.375 cents a pound on the CME. A close at that level would be the biggest gain for the most-active contract since Jan. 3.
In Iowa and southern Minnesota, meatpackers processed 392,000 hogs in the week ended Jan. 5, up 14 percent from the same period a week earlier, USDA data show.
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