Friday saw cattle futures set record highs for the second time thus far this month, propelled by indications of increasing demand that will draw from limited supplies, according to Bloomberg.
Ranchers were expected to draw down herd size, another factor that will pinch supplies. The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Wednesday that the production of beef will slide nearly 5 percent in 2012 as a consequence of expensive feed costs prompting ranchers to slaughter more cows that breed.
"Supply deficits plus improved export demand are the key drivers," research director Rich Nelson with broker Allendale in Illinois told the news service. "There's a need for beef around the world."
At 2:54 p.m. on Friday, cattle futures gained 0.26 percent, a .00325 cent rise to $1.23175 per pound.
Bloomberg reports export opportunity is likely to widen as a result of the U.S. Congress granting approval to free-trade agreements on Thursday with South Korea, Colombia and Panama. The legislation's next step is the desk of President Obama for final approval.
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