Cattle futures rose for the first time in three sessions on signs of improving demand for U.S. beef. Hog prices also gained.
Wholesale beef rallied 1 percent yesterday to a six-week high of $1.9479 a pound, heading for the biggest monthly gain since October, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Meatpackers processed 119,000 cattle yesterday, up 6.3 percent from a year earlier, USDA data show. Prospects for warmer weather and holidays including Memorial Day on May 27 will boost meat demand for outdoor grilling, said Don Roose, the president of U.S. Commodities Inc.
“You have a tendency to get a kick in on the beef because of the grilling season,” Roose said by telephone from West Des Moines, Iowa. “We had pretty good clearance last week.”
Cattle futures for June delivery climbed 0.3 percent to $1.22875 a pound at 9:40 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Prices are down 1.5 percent this month through yesterday, heading for the third straight decline.
Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement rose 0.3 percent to $1.50275 a pound.
Hog futures for June settlement gained 0.5 percent to 92.575 cents a pound on the CME. Prices are up 1.2 percent this month through yesterday.
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