Cattle futures prices soared the 2 cents-a-pound limit Monday with the prospect of fewer beef animals coming to market in the months to come.
Pork also was sharply higher on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
In some other markets, Treasury bonds retreated the 2-point limit, gold posted substantial gains and oil futures were a little better in light trading.
At the Mercantile Exchange, "the big factor was the bullish USDA report on Friday," said Philip Stanley, an analyst in Chicago with Thomson McKinnon Securities Inc.
The Agriculture Department report showed that the number of animals placed on feedlots during June was only 90% of what it was a year ago. Most analysts had thought there would have been more placements, rather than sharply fewer.
"It caught the trade by surprise," said Stanley. "It was far below what was expected."
Grain and soybean futures prices were mostly higher in light but nervous trading on the Chicago Board of Trade.