Oct. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Hog futures gained for the first time in three days as falling slaughter rates signaled shrinking supplies of animals and pork amid rising U.S. meatpacker demand. Cattle slid.
Hog slaughter for the week ending Sept. 30 was down 1.1 percent from a year earlier to 432,000 head. Demand for animals from processors has increased amid improving profit margins, according to Steve Wagner, a market analyst for CHS Hedging Inc. in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota.
“We are going to continue to have reduced slaughter versus last year,” Jason Golly, a vice president of risk-management marketing at Lynch Livestock Inc. in Waucoma, Iowa, said in a telephone interview. “Demand is going to continue to be strong.”
Hog futures for December settlement rose 0.3 percent to close at 86.175 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Prices declined 2.5 percent in the previous two days after a government report on Sept. 27 showed the U.S. herd unexpectedly increased.
Cattle futures for December delivery fell 0.1 percent to $1.31825 a pound on the CME. Feeder-cattle futures for November settlement gained 0.1 percent to $1.662 a pound, after touching an all-time high of $1.6665.
CME Group Inc., which owns the CME exchange, said today it was suspending publishing its lean-hog and feeder-cattle indexes, which measure cash prices, because some relevant data is unavailable amid the first U.S. government shutdown in 17 years. The Department of Agriculture will suspend crop and livestock reports during the shutdown.
“We are going to get increasingly blind as we move forward, as we don’t see the cash prices,” Lawrence Kane, a market adviser for Stewart-Peterson Group in Yates City, Illinois, said in a telephone interview.
--Editors: Thomas Galatola, Patrick McKiernan