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CME update: lean hog futures gain as ASF worries open up export markets

US lean hog futures jumped higher on 7 April on fears of African swine fever rising across parts of Asia.

8 April 2021, at 8:47am

Reuters reports that lean hog futures also climbed due to tight domestic supplies as the US rebuilds its pig herd after massive culls during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Philippines reduced tariffs on pork, aiming to import 400,000 tonnes in 2021, more than double than originally planned.

"They're basically telling the world, ‘we need pork and we need it now. We can't wait for our hog herd to be rebuilt,'" said Dennis Smith, commodity broker at Archer Financial.

CME June lean hogs settled 2.275 cents higher at 107.900 cents per pound, after reaching 108.125. Nearly all contract months found new life-of-contract highs.

The CME's lean hog index, a two-day weighted average of cash prices, climbed to $100.34 per cwt, its highest since 17 October 2014.

Despite a smaller US herd, daily hog slaughter has remained at a strong pace, with 494,000 hogs processed on 7 April, up 21,000 head from the same date a year ago, according to the USDA.

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