March 26th, 2013

Hog futures rallied to an eight- month high on signs of increasing demand for U.S. pork. Cattle were little changed.

Wholesale pork yesterday rose 0.9 percent to 77.96 cents a pound, the highest since March 19, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Spot hogs added 2.6 percent to 70.86 cents a pound yesterday, the biggest increase since Feb. 5, government data show. Prices have fallen 12 percent this year.

“We’re getting into that time of year where you’re going to see a lot more grilling featured in the grocery stores, and you’re going to see a lot more domestic demand,” Lou Arens, a broker at PCI Advisory Services in Waucoma, Iowa, said in a telephone interview. “Everything’s been depressed for so long. It’s finally to the point where it’s going to turn the corner.”

Hog futures for June settlement advanced 0.6 percent to 91.325 cents a pound at 9:51 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, after reaching 91.6 cents, the highest for the most- active contract since July 9. The price climbed 5.9 percent this year through yesterday.

Cattle futures for June delivery slipped less than 0.1 percent to $1.2145 a pound in Chicago. Through yesterday, prices fell 8.2 percent this year.

Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement slid 0.2 percent to $1.402 a pound on the CME.

- Elizabeth Campbell in Chicago at Bloomberg.