April hogs closed slightly higher on the session, with some traders feeling that the market found support from the continued outlook for strong export demand and declining supplies. News of strong gains in pork values led by a sharp advance in loin prices were also felt to be a supportive factor. The large premium of futures to the cash market as well as lingering fears that higher weights and a short-term rise in marketings might pressure the cash market were seen as factor that helped to limit the rally. June hogs found early strength and sent the market up to a new contract high of 103.12 and a new all-time high for any month. The CME Lean Hog Index as of February 11th came in at 85.88, up 40 cents from the previous session and up from 82.05 the week before. This leaves the April futures at a premium of 670 points from near 1300 points early in the month. Cash is called steady to $1.00 lower for today as many packers are preparing for a possible increase in hog marketings with higher temperatures this week. Pork cutout values released after the close yesterday came in at $89.39, up 40 cents from Monday and up from $88.71 the previous week. This is the highest since February 3rd. The estimated hog slaughter came in at 419,000 head yesterday. This brings the total for the week so far to 821,000 head, down from 827,000 head last week at this time but up from 811,000 head a year ago.
Join the Discussion