The Cattle Futures Rally Continues

Buoyant consumer demand, cold weather and slowing production all helped U.S. cattle futures test contract highs Thursday.

The cold snap is pressuring animal weights, and slaughter levels have tempered compared with a year ago, with output in the first quarter of next year now forecast to be well below the historical norm.

The front-month December live-cattle contract ended up 2.1% at $1.2455 ahead of Friday's expiration, with February, the most heavily traded, climbing 1.25 cents to $1.2225 a pound.

Lean-hog futures regained positive territory near the close, reversing Wednesday's dip. The February contract settled up 0.525 cents at $71.55.

Analysts pointed to the prospect of rising supplies, even if the cold weather is likely to temper the recent gains in animal weights.

Write to Doug Cameron at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 28, 2017 15:18 ET (20:18 GMT)