LIVESTOCK-U.S. hog futures drop as China tightens food import restrictions


Karl Plume / Reuters

June 22, 2020 / 4:57 PM


CHICAGO, June 22 (Reuters) - U.S. lean hog futures retreated on Monday, with actively traded nearby contracts sinking more than 3% and hitting life-of-contract lows amid worries about pork exports to China, which has stepped up oversight of imported goods due to COVID-19.


China’s customs authority said on Sunday it had suspended poultry imports from a Tyson plant in Arkansas due to a cluster of coronavirus cases at the facility. That followed the halt of pork imports from a German processor last week.


China’s customs authority has also asked suppliers of imported food to sign a declaration their produce is not contaminated by the novel coronavirus.


Numerous U.S. pork plants have been shuttered during the pandemic, but exports to China have continued to flow.


“Not importing from Tyson right now is definitely why we had some pressure in the hogs today,” said Ted Seifried, chief ag market strategist at Zaner Ag Hedge.


Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) July lean hogs fell 1.625 cents to 46.825 cents per pound, while actively traded August fell 1.700 cents to 51.100 cents per pound. Both contracts posted fresh contract lows during the session.


After the close, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported a record-large drop in U.S. frozen pork inventories...