Breitinger: Hog market catches fever

Alex Breitinger
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Pork prices neared a one-month high this week as concerns grew about the spread of Africa Swine Fever across China. The highly contagious, deadly disease has been found on over 40 different hog farms in China, sparking fears that the world’s biggest hog producer could run into a major pork shortage.

The disease is already widespread in Russia and has recently been found in Belgium. Quarantines are attempting to limit the movement of animals within China, and foreign countries are increasingly afraid of the spread of the disease as well. This may increase demand for U.S. pork, as the United States has not had issues with the disease.

As a result, the global woes could bring profits to U.S. pig farmers who have been suffering from low prices for months amidst global trade wars and large domestic meat supplies. As of mid-day Friday, December hog futures were worth 57.5 cents per pound, up sharply from the recent lows under 44 cents.

Alex Breitinger of Breitinger & Sons LLC, a commodity futures brokerage firm, can be reached at 800-411-3888 or