Oct. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Cattle futures advanced to an eight- month high on mounting speculation that improved demand for U.S. beef is tightening animal supplies. Hog prices also gained.
At a cattle auction yesterday in El Campo, Texas, steers weighing 500 pounds (227 kilograms) to 600 pounds fetched $1.55 a pound on average from beef processors, up 1.9 percent from a week earlier, data from El Campo Livestock Co. show. Beef prices also are up, according to Urner Barry, a Bayville, New-Jersey- based provider of agriculture data and livestock news. U.S. Department of Agriculture price and slaughter data have been halted by the government shutdown since Oct. 1.
“Strong demand is pushing all protein up,” Christian Mayer, a market adviser at Northstar Commodity Investments Co. in Minneapolis, said in a telephone interview.
Cattle futures for December delivery increased 0.4 percent to close at $1.3325 a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, after touching $1.3335, the highest for a most-active contract since Jan. 31. Prices have rallied 11 percent since the end of May.
Feeder-cattle futures for November settlement rose 0.1 percent to $1.67725 a pound on the CME.
Hog futures for December settlement increased 1.1 percent to 88.8 cents a pound in Chicago, after gaining 1.7 percent yesterday.
--Editors: Steve Stroth, Thomas Galatola