CME update: hog futures plummet as pandemic accelerates across the US

US lean hog futures fell on 7 December as cash pork prices weakened and increased COVID-19 infections sparked concerns about demand for meat.

8 December 2020, at 8:35am

Reuters reports that the US’ accelerating coronavirus infection rates are prompting tight restrictions on restaurants and other food service outlets, threatening meat sales.

Meanwhile, renewed tensions between the United States and China, after fresh US sanctions on 14 Chinese officials, stirred fears of slower US meat exports to the world's top pork market.

CME's benchmark February lean hog futures contract settled 1.625 cents lower at 64.950 cents per pound, its lowest close since 19 November. The contract broke through chart support at its 100-day moving average and closed below the key technical level.

Surging US coronavirus infections are triggering fresh restrictions around the country, from prohibitions on private gatherings of any size in California to a ban on indoor dining in New York City.

"The market sees what's happening in California with the COVID restrictions and everyone's worried that continues to spread around the country, with more restaurants closing," said Don Roose, president of US Commodities.

Sinking wholesale pork prices brought retailer demand into question.

The pork carcass cut-out value fell 27 cents to $77.90, the USDA said.

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