China hog futures surge to one-month high on mounting ASF fear

8 Feb 2021 | Johnny Huang

Hog futures listed on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange spiked on Monday to the highest level since its debut a month ago as funds priced in concerns over increasing reports of African swine fever (ASF) cases in the north of the country.

Dalian hog futures soared 4-6% across the board on Monday with the most liquid contract up 4% on the day to CNY26,900/mt ($4,171/mt) by 1500 Beijing time, data from the exchange showed.

“The domestic market seemed to be trading on ASF… hog futures is strong but corn and soymeal were weaker,” said one soymeal trader at a major trading house.

“We heard it was ASF and [pork] producers were actively raising output,” a second trader said.

Animal farming and pork-producing companies could increase pork output amid fears of potentially losing their herd to another wave of ASF in a move that would likely cause soymeal and corn consumption to fall.

Dalian soymeal and corn futures were down by about 1% across the curve on Monday.

China’s hog futures debuted on January 8 and plunged 12% on the first day of trading on expectations that the country's herd is recovering rapidly in 2021 after huge losses due to the ASF outbreak.

But prices have been rebounding ever since January 25 after Chinese authorities highlighted the first ASF outbreak in three months.