Hogs End Higher as Prices Point to Strong Pork Demand; Cattle Steady

By Julie WernauFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Lean hog futures rallied ahead of a government update on hog expansion to be released after today's close.

The report, released at 3 p.m. ET, will give traders an indication of the market setup to expect for fourth-quarter supplies.

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Robust prices for ham and pork products--at their highest levels since 2014 for wholesale pork, given robust overseas demand--have traders optimistic.

Meanwhile, cash hog prices appear to have hit their peak at 91.50 cents a pound according to the lean hog index, a measure of cash prices in the hog market. That is boosting margins for packers to $30 a head.

The market has been preparing for a seasonal lull that typically occurs after the July 4 weekend as meat demand dies down.

"We're talking about a peak at anytime," said Rich Nelson, chief strategist at Allendale, Inc. "But cash pork is stubbornly going up every day now."

CBOT lean hogs for July rose 1.8% to 89.475 a pound.

In the cattle market, traders said light cash trade for the June contract, which expires tomorrow, continued to be behind futures, with a small amount of live cattle exchanging hands at $1.18 to $1.195 a pound in the cash market.

Live cattle for June ended flat at $1.202 a pound. Still, traders said the price differential was unlikely to be enough to deliveries against the exchange.

Write to Julie Wernau at julie.wernau@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 29, 2017 15:27 ET (19:27 GMT)