Hog futures fall on concerns about supply glut

Chicago Mercantile Exchange hog futures plunged 4% on Monday, hitting their lowest level in nearly a month, as robust supplies threatened profits even as pork prices edged off their recent lows, traders said.

Pork processors earned $22.90 per hog, down from $46.25 per hog on Friday and $43.20 a week ago, according to livestock marketing advisory service HedgersEdge.

“Big production plays a role in all of that, with last week’s slaughter total of 2.667 million head our largest yet of the season and a couple more big weeks just ahead of us,” brokerage StoneX said in a note to clients.

CME February lean hogs settled 3.275 cents lower at 78.225 cents per pound. The contract hit its lowest price since Nov. 10.

In the U.S. pork market, the wholesale carcass cutout price added $7.93 to close at $89.30 per hundredweight (cwt), rebounding from the 10-month low hit on Friday, the U.S. Agriculture Department said. Ham prices gained $5.55 to $67.82 per cwt, while belly prices rose by $23.48 to 150.78 per cwt.

CME February live cattle finished 0.7 cent higher at 139.65 cents per pound. CME January feeder cattle rose 1.125 cents to end at 165.25 cents per pound.

Profit margins for beef processors on Monday fell to $252.25 per head of cattle from $254.35 on Friday and $362.60 a week ago, HedgersEdge said.