Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean hog futures fell for the third day in a row on Thursday, with traders saying they expected the recent surge of Chinese demand for pork to fade as the world’s top consumer rebuilds its decimated hog herd.
“I increasingly see more attention paid to deteriorating long-term export forecasts around expanding Chinese domestic pork production,” brokerage StoneX said in a note to clients.
Cattle futures also were weaker, but the front-month live cattle contract found technical support above the seven-week low it hit on Tuesday.
The U.S. Agriculture Department on Thursday morning said that weekly export sales of pork totaled 27,600 tonnes. That compares with 28,400 tonnes in the prior week. Export sales to China fell to 1,800 tonnes from 5,200 tonnes.
CME December lean hogs fell three cents, to 66.2 cents/lb., hitting its lowest since Oct. 13 (all figures US$).
CME December live cattle futures dropped 1.1 cents to 103.475 cents/lb.
January feeder cattle fell 0.875 cent to 126.2 cents/lb.
After the close, USDA said U.S. frozen beef stocks stood at 461.987 million lbs. on Sept. 30 and frozen pork belly stocks stood at 24.876 million lbs., down 20 per cent from last month and 39 per cent from last year.
A USDA report on Friday was expected to show the number of cattle on feed in the U.S. as of Oct. 1 was 11.649 million head, 103.2 per cent of a year earlier. September placements were expected to be 102.5 per cent of a year ago and marketings 105.8 per cent of a year ago.
— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters commodities correspondent in Chicago.