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CME update: hog futures dive on economic concerns and larger-than-anticipated supply

US lean hog futures tumbled by the daily trading limit on Friday 26 June and ended much lower after the USDA reports that domestic supplies are above trade expectations.

29 June 2020, at 8:02am

Reuters reports that economic concerns amid rising COVID-19 infections added pressure to hog futures. Wall Street’s major stock indexes plunged by more than 2 percent on 26 June as well.

Livestock markets have been hammered by coronavirus-related closures of restaurants and food service businesses, prime outlets for items like bacon and other cuts of pork. Temporary idling of packing plants due to COVID-19 outbreaks among workers has backed up supplies of market-ready animals, putting additional pressure on cash markets.

The USDA quarterly hog inventory report, released after the markets closed on 25 June, showed a record-large 1 June supply of hogs that was up 5.2 percent from a year earlier. Analysts had expected a 3.7 percent increase.

"The market reacted to the report and the report came in a lot more bearish than most of us were expecting," said independent trader Dan Norcini.

A greater-than-expected supply of heavier hogs put pressure on the actively traded August contract, which traded limit-down during the session, as those animals will be coming to market in the near term, he said.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) July lean hogs dropped 1.650 cents to 45.275 cents per pound, while August ended down 3.200 cents at 48.125 cents per pound. July, August and October futures posted contract lows.

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