Chicago | Reuters — U.S. hog futures rose on Thursday as Germany confirmed one more case of African swine fever in a wild boar, fueling market hopes that China will boost U.S. pork imports.
The new case follows six others confirmed in wild boars, not farm animals, in the past week. While no farm animals in Germany have been infected, state authorities are testing all dead wild boar found near the first outbreak for the disease.
Now, the trade is focusing on both U.S. supplies, and strong domestic and export demand, said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities in West Des Moines, Iowa. China’s demand for U.S. corn and soybeans has been unrelenting in recent weeks, and it is importing more meat amid a potential food supply gap.
While China has been rebuilding its hog herd size, the country is not yet self-sufficient in meat, and relies on imported proteins to bridge the gap.
According to a forecast by Gro Intelligence, an agricultural data and AI company, China will need to increase non-German pork imports by 173,000 tonnes to get them from the last half of September to the end of the year.
Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) October lean hog futures settled up 1.3 cents at 66.525 cents/lb. (all figures US$). Most actively traded CME December hogs ended up 1.65 cents at 63.625 cents/lb.
The cash prices in the cattle market began firming this week, with market-ready cattle trading at $103-$103.50/cwt in the U.S. corn belt and $103/cwt in Texas — up $1 or $2 from Friday, traders said.
CME October live cattle futures settled up 0.05 cent at 106.775 cents/lb., while most actively traded December live cattle futures slipped 0.625 cent to 111.325 cents/lb.
October feeder cattle ended down 0.975 cent at 141.45 cents/lb.
— P.J. Huffstutter reports on agriculture and agribusiness for Reuters from Chicago.