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CME update: lean hog futures reach 4-month high as cash values strengthen

US lean hog futures rose on 9 September, hitting a four-month high on firming cash hog prices and optimism about pork demand and technical buying.

10 September 2020, at 9:12am

Reuters reports that the Chicago Mercantile Exchange October lean hog futures contract settled above its 200-day moving average, rising 1.475 cents to end at 61.375 cents per pound after reaching 61.725 cents, its highest since 28 April.

Cash hog prices in the Iowa and southern Minnesota market jumped by $4.98 per cwt on Wednesday and the average US negotiated cash price rose $3.49, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

"The cash market is looking strong. The question is whether the pork market can keep up, in order to keep packer margins strong," said Doug Houghton, analyst with Brock Associates.

Wholesale pork prices showed mixed signals. The US pork cutout value was up $2.72 per cwt from Tuesday in the USDA's midmorning report, which helped lift CME hog futures. But the government's afternoon revision, released after the CME close, showed the cutout down 78 cents from Tuesday 8 September.

On the export front, the last two weekly USDA export sales reports have shown robust US pork sales, especially to top global buyer China. The USDA's next weekly export sales report is due Friday 11 September, delayed a day due to Monday's federal holiday.

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