Hog Futures Rally on Cash Gains

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Hog futures settled just short of a six-week high on Monday as traders anticipated higher prices in the cash market.

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December lean hog contracts rose 2.4% to 63.7 cents a pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the highest close since Sept. 5.

Cash prices for slaughter-ready hogs have risen for 11 consecutive days, and were on track to rise again on Monday. New Midwestern slaughterhouses have given hog farmers more places to sell their hogs, helping to push up prices. Wholesale pork prices have also inched higher after hitting a bottom in early October.

Analysts say very strong demand, particularly through exports, will be needed to sustain rising prices, however, with the seasonal hog herd sizes and slaughter numbers at records.

Cattle futures fell on Monday, easing after gains last week. CME October live cattle futures fell 1% to $1.11725 a pound.

Physical cattle traded in the cash market for an average of $111 per 100 pounds live and $175 dressed last week, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That was around $2 higher than a week earlier.

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Cash cattle prices have been rising since early September, but analysts also question how long that can continue in light of large beef production. Meatpackers slaughtered 622,000 cattle last week, down from a week earlier but above the same time last year.

Write to Benjamin Parkin at benjamin.parkin@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 16, 2017 15:27 ET (19:27 GMT)