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CME update: lean hog futures hit contract high for a third day in a row

US lean hog futures climbed again on 4 February, setting a contract high for the third consecutive day on firm Chinese demand.

5 February 2021, at 10:11am

Reuters reports that weekly US pork export sales to China, the world's top pork consumer, reached a three-month high of 17,873 tonnes in the week ended 28 January, according to the US Department of Agriculture. That accounted for about 39 percent of total weekly US sales of 46,305 tonnes. The USDA said total shipments were 38,275 tonnes, including 11,977 tonnes for China.

China, the world's top pork producer, has grappled with the deadly hog disease African swine fever since August 2018, raising its need for meat imports. A surge in disease outbreaks this winter will slow China's rapid recovery from the African swine fever contagion, according to industry participants and analysts.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) April lean hog futures on Thursday closed up 0.100 cent at 79.300 cents per pound. The contract traded up to 80.075 cents, topping Wednesday's life-of-contract high of 79.950 cents.

Domestic demand also underpinned meat prices as some U.S. restaurants are reopening after COVID-19 restrictions, analysts said.

Global food prices rose for an eighth consecutive month in January to their highest since July 2014, the United Nations food agency said, as economies continue to battle fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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