Cattle futures rebounded from a 10-month low on signs of increasing U.S. demand for beef. Hogs also rose.
As of May 17, wholesale beef rose for the fifth straight week, the longest rally since July 2011, to a record $2.0951 a pound, the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture data showed. Meatpackers processed an estimated 652,000 head of cattle last week, up 3.3 percent from a week earlier, government data show.
“The big change in the last couple of weeks is the beef packing processing margins, which are quite fabulous,” Dennis Smith, an analyst at Archer Financial Services in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “In the past, they’ve demonstrated the ability to fire up when they have profits like this and front run each other to buy cattle.”
Cattle futures for August delivery rose 0.1 percent to $1.18675 a pound at 11:23 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, the price fell as much as 0.6 percent to $1.17825, the lowest for a most-active contract since July 12.
Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement fell 0.2 percent to $1.4315 a pound. Earlier, the price touched $1.42325, the lowest since April 12.
Hog futures for July settlement climbed 0.6 percent to 91.5 cents a pound. Through May 17, the price climbed 6.1 percent this year.
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