June 11, 2020 / 11:33 PM / 24 days ago

LIVESTOCK-U.S. lean hog futures drop lower on large supplies

CHICAGO, June 11 (Reuters) - U.S. lean hog futures extended a decline on Thursday under pressure from large supplies and rebounding pork production, analysts said.

Traders expect meat packers to have ample hogs to slaughter after livestock backed up farms when processing plants temporarily closed in April and May because of coronavirus outbreaks among meatpacking workers.

Plants have since resumed operations, many at reduced capacities.

“We have a lot of hogs to work through,” said Brian Hoops, president of U.S. broker Midwest Market Solutions.

Meat prices surged 40.4% in May, according to the Labor Department, as plant shutdowns and slowdowns due to the pandemic limited production.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in a monthly report, raised its forecast for 2020 red meat and poultry production from May. The agency cited “a faster-than-anticipated recovery in the pace of slaughter” of hogs and cattle.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange July lean hog futures , the most actively traded contract, slid 0.675 cent to 52.125 cents per pound. August futures dropped 0.950 cent to 54.875 cents.

“We’re not going to get into a situation where we have smaller supply that would force the market higher,” Hoops said. “We think rallies should be sold.”

CME August live cattle dipped 0.050 cents to 96.450 cents. August feeder cattle futures closed 0.500 cents lower at 132.175 cents per pound. (Reporting by Tom Polansek; Editing by Tom Brown)

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