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CME update: lean hog futures inch up as cash market firms

US lean hog futures rose on 30 March, with the benchmark June contract setting a life-of-contract high on firm cash hog prices and signs of tightening supplies at a time of robust demand for pork, analysts said.

31 March 2021, at 7:37am

Reuters reports that the most-active June lean hog futures contract settled up 0.800 cent at 106.025 cents per pound, after reaching a contract high at 106.375 cents.

The CME's lean hog index, a two-day weighted average of cash hog prices, climbed to $97.38 per cwt, its highest since October 2014.

"The hog market is just strong. Disease issues across the hog belt in the Midwest have been huge," said Don Roose, president of Iowa-based US Commodities. Futures continue to draw support from the US Department of Agriculture's 25 March quarterly hog report, which showed a smaller-than-expected US herd, Roose noted.

However, the US pork cut-out, an indication of wholesale pork prices, fell 95 cents to $106.89 per cwt on Tuesday afternoon, retreating after a firmer reading at midday.

Consumer demand for pork and beef is rising as the summer grilling season approaches, and at the same time, the restaurant sector is stocking up in anticipation of a vaccine-driven economic recovery.

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