CHICAGO — CME Group live hog futures fell to a two-month low on Monday, notching their fifth straight day of declines on concerns that Chinese pork consumption will fall during the country’s upcoming Lunar New Year celebrations, traders said.
Cattle futures were firm, with strength in the cash market underpinning prices.
Weakness in Chinese markets spilled over to CME hog futures. China’s most active hog futures contract closed down 6.6% at its lowest level since it was launched almost two years ago.
Concerns about rising COVID-19 cases in China following the easing of virus-related restrictions in the world’s top consumer of pork pressured hog markets.
Boxed beef prices rose on Monday, with choice cuts gaining $8.09 to $257.02 per cwt, while select cuts rose $4.42 to $225.68 per cwt, the USDA said.
CME February lean hogs dropped 0.3 cent to 83.7 cents per pound, bottoming out at 82.8 cents, their lowest since Oct. 14. Nearby December hogs edged up 0.375 cent to 81.95 cents per pound in thin trading ahead of the contract’s expiration on Friday.
The CME’s lean hog index, a two-day weighted average of cash hog prices, eased 48 cents to $81.99 per cwt.
CME benchmark February live cattle gained 0.55 cent to 156.1 cents per pound, while the spot December contract firmed 0.725 cent to 154.4 cents per pound.
CME January feeder cattle eased 0.275 cent to 183.65 cents per pound. (Reporting by Mark Weinraub; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)