April hogs pushed sharply higher early in the day and rallied all the way up to 95.00, a new contract high. The market fell back into midsession, and selling continued into the close with April finishing nearly 300 points below the early peak. Another rise in pork cutout values late Tuesday, along with projections of continued firm export levels were seen as the main supportive factors for the market. Hog futures saw a recovery bounce overnight, but cash is called $0.50-$1.00 lower again today and pork cutout values released after the close yesterday came in at $89.05, down 34 cents from Tuesday and down from $89.16 the previous week. Ideas that South Korea will continue to be an active buyer helped drive June hogs to another new all-time high for any hogs contract of 103.82 before the market finished the session lower. Iowa/Minnesota average weights were down 0.9 pounds for the week, which helped to encourage ideas that producers are remaining current with their sales, but weights are still 4.5 pounds up from last year which will keep tonnage higher. Weekly average weights for Iowa-Southern Minnesota as of February 12th came in at 272.9 pounds, down from 273.8 pounds the previous week and up from 268.4 pounds last year. The estimated hog slaughter came in at 421,000 head yesterday. This brings the total for the week so far to 1.242 million head, down from 1.249 million head last week at this time but up from 1.237 million head a year ago. The CME Lean Hog Index as of February 14th came in at 85.65, down 23 cents from the previous session and up from 82.75 the previous week.
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