28 July 1997
Pork belly futures set to rise

Pork belly futures prices soared last week in Chicago on rumours of Japanese buying, with prices expected to rise again this week thanks to the Japanese factor.

Japan has been facing a shortage since March when Taiwan was hit by a foot-and-mouth epidemic and suspended exports. Taiwan was Japans biggest pork supplier. Japanese consumption of pork always increases in summer. Japanese stocks are currently between 25% and 30% below last years. Japanese domestic producers have been unable to take advantage because the unusually hot weather has hit production.

On Thursday, pork belly futures for July delivery on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange closed the 3-cents daily limit a pound higher at 85.80 cents. The market had previously been tumbling.

  • Financial Times 28/07/97 page 23 (Commodities)