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CME update: lean hog futures rose on technical buying

US hog slaughter rates trend upwards but are still below pre-COVID-19 levels.

19 June 2020, at 9:30am

Reuters reports that hog processors slaughtered nearly 460,000 pigs on 18 June, up from 450,000 pigs a week earlier. Though the pace has improved, USDA data indicates that as many as 498,000 pigs were processed the day before pork plants shuttered due to COVID-19 infections among meat plant workers.

CME July lean hog futures rose 0.250 cent to 49.900 cents per pound amid technical buying, traders said. August futures settled up 0.300 cent at 53.475 cents.

Analysts said China could potentially reduce imports of US pork as the country attempts to rebuild its hog herd after it was devastated by a deadly pig disease.

The coronavirus is also a concern in China, the world's top pork consumer, after Chinese officials said trading sections for meat and seafood in Beijing's wholesale food market were contaminated with the disease.

The USDA said in a weekly export sales report that China bought 9,991 tonnes of US pork in the week ended 11 June, the biggest weekly total since 30 April.

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