DEFINITION of 'Pork Bellies'

A cut of pork that comes from the belly of a pig. Pork bellies were traded in the futures market, as they are important components of meat products, such as bacon. Trading in pork bellies futures began in 1961 on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), and allowed meat packers to hedge the volatile pig market.

BREAKING DOWN 'Pork Bellies'

Pork bellies became the iconic commodity for the futures market's representation in popular culture, and has been mentioned in a variety of films relating to investing, such as "Trading Places". While they were a major future traded for decades, their waning popularity in trading led to the CME to halting trading in 2011.

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