November 14, 2008


US cattle, hog trade up as grocers seen stocking holiday beef, pork


The approaching Christmas season has pulled up cattle and pork prices as grocers began to purchase meat for the holidays.


The US Department of Agriculture reports that wholesale beef prices climbed for 10 straight sessions, the longest winning streak since mid-July. Joe Kropf, an analyst at Joe Kropf & Sid Love Consulting Services Inc. in Overland Park, Kansas said meat buyers tend to increase purchases of beef ribs and loins in November.


Cattle futures for February delivery advanced 0.575 cent, or 0.6 percent, to 92.3 cents a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. A close at that price would be the biggest gain for a most-active contract since November 4. The price had dropped 4.6 percent this year before today.


Feeder-cattle futures for January delivery rose 0.675 cent, or 0.7 percent, to 96.9 7cents a pound on the CME. The most- active contract was down 10 percent this year, as of yesterday.


Wholesale choice beef meanwhile jumped 2.57 cents, or 1.7 percent, to US$1.5725 a pound yesterday, USDA data show. That marked the highest price since Sept. 25. Beef has gained 11 percent this month.


Wholesale beef ribs climbed for a seventh session yesterday, soaring 21.4 cents, or 8.4 percent, to US$2.7588 a pound. Rib prices are up 38 percent since Oct. 31.


Hog futures for February settlement increased 0.275 cent, or 0.4 percent, to 63 cents a pound in Chicago. The most-active contract is up 8.4 percent this year, before today.


Wholesale pork gained 0.09 cent, or 0.2 percent, to 58.13 cents a pound yesterday, according to the USDA. The price is down 6.5 percent this month.

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