U.S. cattle futures hit all-time highs as low feed supplies and a shrinking domestic herd fueled concerns beef production won't keep pace with world demand.


Lean hog futures also settled higher at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, with some contracts hitting new records.


Cattle on a farm in Idaho. The U.S. herd is near a five-decade low.



Cattle for April delivery settled up 0.8% at $1.21/lb., while the June hogs contract, which is the most-actively traded, finished up 0.7% at $1.0/lb.


"The record cattle market remains frothy, but meat packer margins are good, so there's no reason to think the cattle market will decline significantly in the near term," says Tregg Cronin, an analyst at Country Hedging, a commodity brokerage firm in St. Paul, MN.


Thursday's gains were driven by a USDA report showing inventories of corn and soybeans had dropped more than expected over the winter. Futures for the crops used to feed cattle and hogs surged on the report.


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