Cattle futures rallied, heading for the biggest gain in more than two weeks, on signs of increasing demand for U.S. beef. Hog prices also gained.
Meatpackers processed 125,000 cattle yesterday, up 1.6 percent from a week earlier, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Wholesale beef added 0.2 percent today to $2.1046 a pound, the highest since at least January 2004, government data show. Memorial Day, which is May 27 this year, is the most popular day for grilling after the Fourth of July holiday, according to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association.
“Packers will be buying for a short kill week next week, but they still have beef orders to fill for last-minute Memorial Day and Father’s Day delivery,” Troy Vetterkind, the owner of Vetterkind Cattle Brokerage LLC in Thorp, Wisconsin, said in an e-mailed report.
Cattle futures for August delivery rose 0.9 percent to $1.20225 a pound at 11:53 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, heading for the biggest gain since May 2. Prices were down 9.9 percent this year through yesterday.
Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement added 1.4 percent to $1.46475 a pound.
Hog futures for July settlement advanced 0.3 percent to 91.825 cents a pound. The price was up 6.8 percent this year through yesterday.
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