Cattle futures climbed for the first time in three days on signs of increasing demand from U.S. meat processors. Hog prices also rose.
Meatpackers processed 229,000 head of cattle in the first two days of the week, up 0.9 percent from the same period a week earlier, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Spot steers averaged $1.25 a pound, up 2.4 percent from the same period a year earlier, according to the USDA.
“Packers are needing some cattle,” Lane Broadbent, a vice president at KIS Futures Inc. in Oklahoma City, said in a telephone interview. The number of animals being offered for slaughter “is still tight enough that they’re having to hustle to get cattle for their kill needs.”
Cattle futures for June delivery climbed 0.7 percent to $1.237 a pound at 12:33 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, headed for the first gain since March 28.
Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement added 0.1 percent to $1.4725 a pound. Prices are down 4.7 percent this year through yesterday.
Hog futures for June settlement rose 0.6 percent to 92.375 cents a pound on the CME. Through yesterday, prices were up 7.1 percent this year.
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