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Pig outlook — Lean hog futures bears remain in control, ASF vaccine news, Smithfield ends 26 contracts

February lean hog futures prices continue to trend lower on the daily chart. The CME lean hog index is presently at $69.60 (as of Dec. 4). The preliminary calculation puts the index down an additional 17 cents to $69.43 for today. December futures remain around $2.00 below the CME index. The outlook remains bearish for the hog market as supplies are nearing annual highs. After Christmas, demand for hams tends to drop sharply until the Easter Holiday. On the positive side, fresh pork prices remaining above $80.00 despite abundant pork supplies suggests good US retailer pork demand.

World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) is calling for more testing of African Swine Fever (ASF) vaccines
Particularly the vaccine produced by AVAC Vietnam JSC. This decision comes after Vietnam announced plans to export 5 million doses of its ASF vaccine. WOAH expressed concerns that AVAC Vietnam has not shared sufficient data with international researchers and organizations, despite the company asserting the safety and effectiveness of their vaccine.

Gregorio Torres, head of the science department at WOAH, emphasized the need for further testing on the AVAC vaccine, while AVAC's chief operating officer, Nguyen Van Diep, stated that they have shared vaccine data and that their vaccine has been safely used in 17 provinces. The AVAC vaccine was initially discovered by USDA researchers but developed in Vietnam due to the absence of the ASF virus in the United States.

USDA clarified that it did not have access to the trial data from Vietnam.

Meanwhile, WOAH is actively discussing new global standards for evaluating ASF vaccines, with potential approval expected in May. Another vaccine produced in Vietnam, also based on a USDA platform, has shared positive trial data and is currently undergoing testing in the Dominican Republic. ASF vaccination has been a significant focus for the U.S. industry due to the absence of the virus in the United States.

Smithfield Foods ends contracts with 26 Utah pig farms, citing oversupply
Smithfield Foods said on Tuesday it will end contracts with 26 hog farms in Utah, in the latest contraction by the world’s largest pork processor. A company statement cited an “industry oversupply of pork, weaker consumer demand and high feed prices: as challenges.

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