Since the COVID-19 pandemic, hog producers have been paring down the U.S. herd in an effort to sustain market prices, but the inventory slowdown hasn’t been enough to support much upward price momentum. Though the herd is slow to shrink, there are bright sides to the story; demand is still strong for some products like pork bellies for bacon. Meanwhile, another looming factor could be bullish to hog demand and prices in the U.S.: African swine fever (ASF) is being reported in a rising number of feral hogs in Germany, and concerns of the disease’s spread overseas have fueled upward momentum in U.S. hog futures. Market-watchers say there’s not yet evidence the disease in Europe will be bullish for U.S. hog prices in the long term given the global nature of the pork marketplace.