Chicago | Reuters — U.S. lean hog futures firmed on Tuesday, with the front-month contract snapping a five-session losing streak on some mild bargain-buying and short-covering, traders said.
But concerns about waning export demand for U.S. supplies from China and Mexico kept the gains in check and hog futures remained near two-month lows.
Mexico blocked all shipments from the world’s largest pork plant in North Carolina due to concerns about the quality of hog skins from the Smithfield Foods facility, the company said Monday.
CME July hogs settled up 0.475 cent at 107.525 cents/lb. and actively traded August hogs ended up 0.025 cent at 103.7 cents.
The wholesale U.S. pork carcass cutout price fell $1.52, to $119.24, its lowest in a month, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.
“All eyes have been on plunging Chinese markets, which have done an about face since the first of the year on a combo of reduced demand and rebuilding herd efforts,” brokerage StoneX said in a note to clients.
USDA quoted the choice boxed beef cutout value at $315.75/cwt on Tuesday afternoon, down $5.45 from Monday, and the select cutout down $1.71, at $279.75/cwt.
August live cattle futures settled 2.15 cents higher at 123.175 cents/lb. CME August feeder cattle ended up 3.25 cents at 158.35 cents/lb.
— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters commodities correspondent in Chicago.