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U.S. livestock: Hog futures drop on supply glut

Cattle futures weak on technical sales

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. lean hog futures fell 2.4 per cent on Monday, weighed down by bearish supply concerns, traders said.

“The hog market boils down to more of the same. Big supplies, record supplies,” said Don Roose, president of Iowa-based U.S. Commodities “With these trade talks still iffy, where are the Chinese? They have been buying a lot of pork from us, but not in the volumes that could overcome the big supply.”

Benchmark February lean hogs closed down 2.025 cents at 66.15, hitting their lowest price since Aug. 7 at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (all figures US$).

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday said U.S. legislation backing protesters in Hong Kong did not make trade negotiations with China easier but added he believes Beijing still wants a deal with the United States.

China has stepped up its purchases of U.S. pork in recent months as a devastating outbreak of African swine fever has decimated its domestic herd.

Pork prices in China, the world’s top consumer of the meat, rose on Monday, the first meaningful rebound in more than a month as consumption increased with colder weather while supplies remained short.

CME cattle futures were lower after a major winter storm in the United States missed key production areas.

Traders also said that technicals were bearish in the cattle market after the front-month live cattle contract hit a seven-month high last week.

February live cattle, which hit a contract high on Friday, ended down 0.4 cent at 125.8 cents/lb. CME January feeder cattle futures fell 0.125 cent to 142.15 cents/lb.

— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters commodities correspondent in Chicago.

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