U.S. livestock: June hogs limit up on swine fever concerns

june lean hogs
CME June 2019 lean hogs with Bollinger (20,2) bands, a gauge of market volatility. (Barchart)

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) lean hog futures rallied on Tuesday, with some contracts closing up their daily trading limit, as expectations for a bump in export deals to China, traders said.

The gains were ignited by the announcement on Monday by China’s agriculture ministry that African swine fever has been found on two pig farms in Hubei province in the central part of the country.

China has reported more than 100 outbreaks of the highly-contagious disease since August 2018, which could boost export demand from the world’s largest pork consumer.

“It just brings up that continuing story,” said Don Roose of U.S. Commodities in West Des Moines, Iowa. “China possibly could still come in and buy huge supplies of pork.”

CME April lean hogs ended up 1.55 cents at 78.95 cents/lb. while June hogs, the most active contract, rose the daily trading limit of three cents to close at 91.5 cents (all figures US$).

Cattle futures were mixed, with feeder cattle contracts easing on concerns about U.S. President Donald Trump closing the border with Mexico, disrupting the flow of cattle into the United States.

Live cattle contracts ended slightly higher.

April live cattle futures were up 0.1 cent at 126.275 cents/lb. while the actively traded June contract rose 0.175 cent, to 119.65 cents.

April feeder cattle futures were off 0.6 cent at 144.85 cents/lb. while May feeders were down 1.075 cents at 147.8.

— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters commodities correspondent in Chicago.

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