Lean hog futures also mostly rose Wednesday as the complex continued to draw support from seasonal stability in cash hog prices.

October hog futures rose 1.3 cents, or 1.5%, to 88.45 cents a pound in trading at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. CME December hog futures rose 1.02 cents, or 1.2%, to 83.85 cents a pound.

Cash hog prices have risen steadily since early last week as meat packers have continued to expand slaughter rates and fielded rising orders from retailers, who stock meat cases for the fall grilling season. Consumers typically eat more meat in late summer and early autumn as cooler temperatures make for better grilling weather.

Prices have rebounded substantially after a string of severe drops in late August and September as producers boosted production seasonally and exacerbated the supply growth by hurrying to sell before prices fell further.

Prices typically stabilize in September, many analysts say, before falling again later in Autumn as supplies grow seasonally into November.

Packers are also more motivated buyers at the moment because the recent swoon in cash prices has improved their profit margins. Better margins, along with strong export demand and ample supplies of hogs, have encouraged packers to push larger numbers of animals through their facilities.

The latest Dow Jones Newswires pork packer margin index was plus $12.36 per head, compared with plus $14.32 the previous day.

Cash hog bids were reported steady to $1 a hundred pounds higher on buying interest for loads to be delivered late this week and early next week.

Projections for Saturday's slaughter now range from 150,000 to 160,000 head, and the week's total is expected to be around 2.275 million head, or approximately 4.8% above a year ago.

The terminal markets traded steady to $1 higher so far. Top prices range from $52 to $62 a hundred pounds on a live basis.

The USDA's pork carcass composite value, a measure of wholesale prices, on Tuesday was up 56 cents at $94.84 a hundred pounds.