China to launch hog futures market

China’s securities regulator says hog futures will be listed on the Dalian Commodity Exchange on Jan. 8, as the world’s top pork producer finally rolls out a commodity contract that has been discussed for more than a decade.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission, which announced the launch date in a brief statement on its website, had approved the listing in April as China sought to revive its economy after the coronavirus outbreak and ease volatility in the highly cyclical pork market.

The launch on the Dalian bourse, which is already home to other agricultural commodity futures such as soybeans and rice, will see China become the second market in the world to trade live pig futures after the United States.

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China is home to around half the world’s pigs, producing about 50 million tonnes per year of pork, which is a staple of Chinese cuisine.

However, Chinese pig farmers face a volatile market — particularly after the arrival of African swine fever in 2018 killed millions of hogs and sent pork prices to record highs — and some previously said they would welcome a futures contract as a hedging tool.

China’s pork prices in November slumped 12.5 per cent year on year, according to the official consumer price index released earlier in December, as the country replenished its pig stocks following the swine fever outbreak.

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