Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) lean hog futures closed higher on Thursday on continued buying interest tied to the recent bullish quarterly hog report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), traders said.
CME October lean hogs settled up 0.8 cent at 91.6 cents/lb., while the most-active December contract rose 1.8 cents to settle at 85.4 cents, its highest since July 27 (all figures US$).
Hog futures have soared in recent days, after USDA on Friday reported that the U.S. Sept. 1 hog inventory and the June-to-August pig crop fell below trade expectations.
Still, traders are keeping a close eye on reported cases of the fatal pig virus African swine fever (ASF) outside of the U.S., said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities in West Des Moines, Iowa.
This week, USDA pledged up to $500 million to prevent the spread of ASF in the country, after Haiti and the Dominican Republic recently confirmed outbreaks. A U.S. outbreak would likely slash U.S. pork exports and pig prices, hurting farmers and meat companies such as Tyson Foods.
Cattle futures ended lower. CME October live cattle settled down 1.2 cents at 120.575 cents/lb., and benchmark December fell 1.325 cents to end at 125.725 cents.
CME November feeder cattle settled down 2.375 cents at 152.9 cents/lb.
— P.J. Huffstutter reports on agriculture and agribusiness for Reuters from Chicago.