CME update: lean hog futures push ahead on optimistic export prospects

US lean hog futures closed higher on 11 September for a second straight session on expectations of increased export demand for US pork.

14 September 2020, at 8:28am

Reuters reports that the optimistic export outlook comes after rival pork supplier Germany confirmed a case of African swine fever in wild boar. The disease is deadly to pigs and has devastated pig herds across Asia and Europe.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) October lean hog futures settled up 2.200 cents at 66.575 cents per pound after reaching 68.725 cents, the contract's highest since 11 March. CME December hogs ended up 3.150 cents at 66.000 cents a pound.

Germany's agriculture ministry said on Friday 11 September that its exports to China, the world's top pork consumer, had stopped. South Korea has also banned German pork.

"That leaves Brazil and the United States best positioned to get that business," said Arlan Suderman, chief commodities economist for StoneX.

Meanwhile, America's capacity to process hogs into pork and cattle into beef is being limited by efforts to physically separate meat-packing workers in plants to lower the risks of spreading COVID-19, analysts said.

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