Cattle prices advanced while live hog and frozen pork belly prices were mostly higher Friday on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
Lifting futures prices were higher prices on cash markets Friday morning, said Chuck Levitt, a livestock analyst in Chicago with Shearson Lehman Bros.
In addition, many traders who had sold contracts while prices were declining earlier in the week bought them back Friday to take profits and to even up their contract positions prior to the release of several major government reports.
The Agriculture Department reports, released after the close of trading, showed that, as of March 1, there were more cattle on feed lots, fewer pigs and hogs being produced and a third less frozen pork bellies in storage than a year earlier.
Analysts said the cattle report initially should pressure prices because of the greater supply but could boost contracts for delivery in distant months, because farmers failed to save cows for breeding.
Grain futures prices were mostly higher but soybeans were lower in light trading on the Chicago Board of Trade.