CHICAGO (Dow Jones)--Lean hog futures fell Thursday on a broad selloff in commodities and a lack of fresh news indicating China is importing more pork.
August hog futures closed down 1.1 cents, or 1.1%, to 98.17 cents a pound in trading at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. CME October hog futures fell 1.65 cents, or 1.8%, to 91.57 cents a pound.
Traders sold off futures in part because there were no new reports showing China is in fact importing more pork, as many analysts expect it will soon. Hog futures rose sharply earlier in the week after China's premier said the government will make a priority of controlling the country's fast rising price of pork.
"To keep prices high, you have to see continuation of strong exports," said Jason Roose, analyst at U.S. Commodities Inc.
A broader selloff in commodities also weighed on hog futures. Crude fell 2.4% to $95.69 a barrel.
Cash hog prices were reported mostly steady. Some livestock dealers and market managers predict supplies of slaughter-ready animals to be somewhat smaller next week.
Extremely hot temperatures forecast for much of the Midwest this weekend and next week could also result in fewer hogs offered for sale. When temperatures turn hot, hogs eat less, resulting in slower weight gains, which pressures producers to keep them longer until they reach desired weight.
The USDA's pork carcass composite value, a measure of wholesale prices, on Wednesday rose 47 cents to $97.81 a hundred pounds.
The terminal markets traded mostly steady with top prices from $63 to $65 a hundred pounds on a live basis.