Lean Hog Futures Extend Rally on Strong Pork Demand – CME Report

In a persistent upward trend, lean hog futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) continued their ascent for the fourth consecutive session, reaching contract highs for several months, driven by robust demand for pork.

Amidst escalating demand, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported a significant increase in the pork carcass cutout value, reaching $98.15 per hundredweight on Thursday, marking a $3.24 surge from the previous day.

The surge in hog futures comes amidst a backdrop of firming live cattle futures, where the market witnessed a rebound from two-month lows in a bargain-buying spree. Some investors perceived the recent price decline as exaggerated, particularly in light of concerns over avian influenza affecting cattle, prompting a reevaluation of market dynamics.

Independent livestock trader Dan Norcini noted, “People are re-evaluating the extent of that selloff, and some people think that a selloff to that degree was simply not warranted.”

Furthermore, Norcini emphasized the stability in cattle supplies despite avian influenza concerns, highlighting that cattle numbers remain at a 70-year low, indicating resilience in the face of recent challenges.

Seasonal factors also played a role in bolstering meat demand, with expectations of increased consumption ahead of Mother’s Day restaurant visits and outdoor cookouts as warmer weather sets in.

Closing figures for CME June live cattle saw a modest uptick of 0.250 cent, reaching 175.850 cents per pound, while spot April cattle rose by 0.550 cent to 181.475 cents per pound, supported by its discount to cash market prices. Additionally, deferred futures contracts experienced gains of up to 1.250 cents.

Feeder cattle futures mirrored the upward trajectory of live cattle, with actively traded May futures closing at 243.875 cents per pound, marking a gain of 1.300 cents.

As lean hog futures maintain their upward momentum amid strong pork demand, market participants remain vigilant for further developments impacting both swine and cattle sectors.