CME: Pork bellies contracts thing of past

July 16, 2011 at 10:00 AM
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CHICAGO, July 16 (UPI) -- There is no future in the frozen pork-bellies futures contract market, officials at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange said.

Frozen pork bellies are used to make bacon and at one time were an anchor product of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, which announced Friday it was dropping the contracts, the Financial Times reported.

"Because of a prolonged lack of trading volume and after significant discussion with industry participants, CME will be delisting frozen pork bellies futures and options" effective Monday, CME said in a statement to traders.

WLS-TV, Chicago, said frozen pork bellies was the oldest existing CME livestock futures contract. It started trading in 1961, but the market has shifted to fresh pork bellies, reducing the demand for the frozen product.

The Wall Street Journal said the idea behind the frozen pork bellies contract was to help meat packers and food companies manage the price they pay for bacon.

The frozen bellies were stored in winter, then thawed in the summer to supply an increased in demand for bacon as the nation started eating millions of bacon-lettuce-and tomato sandwiches.

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