(Corrects first paragraph of story published yesterday to remove erroneous reference to China import ranking.)
Sept. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Hog futures climbed to an eight-week high on signs of improved demand for pork in China, the world’s biggest consumer. Cattle prices dropped.
Prices in China for marbled pork meat rose 0.7 percent to 26.29 yuan ($4.30) a kilogram Aug. 21 to Aug. 30, compared with the previous 10 days, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement on its website today. Wholesale pork in the U.S., which exports the meat to China, rose yesterday for the first time since Aug. 23, government data show.
“There’s talk that you’re seeing more demand come in from China,” Christian Mayer, a market analyst at Northstar Commodity Investments in Minneapolis, said in a telephone interview. “When their price gets too high, they look for cheaper alternatives, and that is currently the U.S.”
Hog futures for October settlement climbed 1.3 percent to close at 89.125 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, the price reached 89.475 cents, the highest for the October contract since it began trading in May 2012 and the highest for a most-active futures since July 9. Prices are up 7 percent since the end of July.
Wholesale pork increased 0.6 percent to 95.49 cents a pound yesterday, while hogs for immediate delivery at slaughtering plants added 0.5 percent to 87.23 cents a pound, the first gain since Aug. 15, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show.
Bets on higher hog prices by hedge funds and other large speculators totaled 76,198 contracts as of Aug. 27, government data show. That’s more than four times the number of bullish wagers a year earlier.
Cattle futures for October delivery slid 0.2 percent to settle at $1.26 a pound on the CME. Feeder-cattle futures for October settlement rose 0.1 percent to $1.5925 a pound.
--Editor: Steve Stroth