Cattle futures rose for the first time in four sessions on speculation that U.S. beef demand will outpace supplies. Hogs fell.
Beef output in the U.S. will drop 4 percent in 2013, after the domestic cattle herd on Jan. 1 sunk to a 61-year low, government data show. Wholesale prices for the meat reached $1.9639 a pound yesterday, the highest in almost seven weeks, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Consumers tend to start grilling outdoors at this time of year, boosting meat demand.
“Cattle numbers just aren’t that big,” Lawrence Kane, a market adviser at Stewart-Peterson Group in Yates City, Illinois, said in a telephone interview. “We’re probably going to go from winter to summer in 36 hours, and that will certainly make the retailer feel like there’s going to be some meat demand at the counter.”
Cattle futures for June delivery rose 0.5 percent to $1.225 a pound at 10:121 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, heading for the first gain since April 25.
Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement increased 0.2 percent to $1.4925 a pound.
Hog futures for June settlement slid 0.1 percent to 92.475 cents a pound. Prices were up 8 percent this year through yesterday.
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