LIVESTOCK-Hog futures rise on pork demand, higher cash prices

By Tom Polansek

CHICAGO, Oct 7 (Reuters) - U.S. hog futures extended gains on Wednesday and the front-month contract reached its highest price in about a year due to strength in the cash market, traders said.

Solid pork demand has underpinned cash prices in the face of large hog supplies.

The U.S. pork cutout, an indication of wholesale pork prices, rose on Wednesday afternoon by $2.63 to $95.18 cents per cwt, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange October lean hogs advanced 0.550 cent to close at 76.875 cents per pound and reached their highest price since November 2019. The contract has soared 55% since the start of August.

Most-active December hogs settled up 0.700 cent at 64.575 cents and touched their highest price since Sept. 25. The contract is up 28% since the start of August.

Limiting gains was an increase in hog weights, analysts said. The average weight in the week ended Oct. 3 was 283.4 pounds, up from 281.8 pounds a week ago and 282.5 pounds a year earlier, according to the USDA.

Traders on Thursday will assess weekly USDA export sales data for Chinese demand. A fatal pig disease has created a domestic meat deficit in China, the world's top pork consumer, and increased the need for imports.

China blocked German pork after the disease was found in wild boars in eastern Germany, and one more case was confirmed there on Wednesday. The United States, Spain and other suppliers are expected to increase sales to China to compensate for Germany's absence from the market.

In the U.S. beef market, CME October live cattle futures rose 0.975 cent to 110.175 cents per pound and reached their highest price since Aug. 20. Most-active December cattle rose 1.150 cents to 113.100 cents.

CME November feeder cattle fell to their lowest price since July 2 before rebounding to close up 0.350 cent at 137.875 cents per pound. (Reporting by Tom Polansek in Chicago; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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