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CME update: lean hog futures jump as China confirms ASF outbreak

US lean hog futures rose on 3 March as China reported a new outbreak of African swine fever, raising expectations that Chinese importers could increase purchases of US pork.

4 March 2021, at 8:44am

Reuters reports that China's farm ministry confirmed African swine fever in piglets being illegally transported through Funing county in the southwestern province of Yunnan.

The case comes amid growing concern that a severe wave of disease in recent months has hit China's hog herd, the world's largest.

CME April lean hog futures ended up 2.575 cents at 87.925 cents per pound, after touching a life-of-contract high of 90.675 cents per pound last Thursday.

Traders said they were uncertain about the extent of the risk to the Chinese herd from African swine fever, or ASF, which was first detected in China in August 2018.

China's Dalian soybean futures reached a record high on Wednesday, signalling to some traders that demand for animal feed is strong because the herd is recovering.

"They're still battling ASF over there," said Jim Gerlach, president of A/C Trading in Indiana. "They can't be battling it too bad with record highs in beans."

The US Department of Agriculture on Thursday will issue a weekly export sales report, providing an update on demand for pork and beef.

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