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.