LIVESTOCK-CME hog futures fall as China’s hog herd rebounds

By P.J. Huffstutter

CHICAGO, Sept 16 (Reuters) – U.S. livestock futures fell on
Wednesday, as the futures market continues to cool in the wake
of last week’s rally and on news that the size of China’s hog
herd is quickly growing.

Hog futures soared last week after Germany reported its
first case of African swine fever (ASF) and China and South
Korea banned its pork imports. On
Wednesday, five more ASF cases were confirmed in wild boars in
the eastern German state of Brandenburg.

“Livestock futures ran into technically overbought territory
last week, and now they’re still backpedaling,” said Karl
Setzer, commodity risk analyst for AgriVisor.

Market hopes also are waning about China gobbling up U.S.
pork supplies any time soon, Setzer said.

China’s pig herd increased 31.3% in August compared with a
year ago, while the sow herd was up 37%, Chinese government
officials said this week.

Part of that boom comes from 2,030 new large-scale pig farms
that began production in August, with more than 11,000
large-scale farms completed since the start of the year.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) October lean hog futures
settled down 0.475 cents at 65.225 cents per pound. Most
actively traded CME December hogs ended down 1.075 cents
at 61.975 cents a pound.

The market is still waiting to see whether cash prices in
the cattle market will firm this week, as about 19,000 fewer
head of cattle are being offered for sale, traders said.

Boxed beef prices were under pressure on Wednesday morning,
with choice cuts declining by $1.01 to $215.08 per cwt,
according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

CME October live cattle futures settled down 0.375
cent at 106.725 cents per pound, while most actively traded
December live cattle futures rose 0.375 cent to 111.950
cents per pound.

October feeder cattle ended down 1.275 cents at
142.425 cents per pound.
(Reporting by P.J. Huffstutter in Chicago; Editing by Cynthia
Osterman)

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