June hogs closed 120 lower for the session Friday after reaching a new contract low, and finished down 287 for the week. Extended weakness in the cash market was widely seen to have pressured the market. Midwest cash hogs were steady to $1.00 lower on Friday and were down sharply for the week. June futures continues to hold onto a premium to the cash market, but many traders feel this may be difficult to sustain given the steady erosion in cash prices. In addition, weakness from outside market forces added to the negative tone of the hog market, with strength in the US Dollar and a sharp sell-off for the US stock market and energy markets. Weakness in rib prices late Thursday helped to hold down pork cut-out values, and may have helped to weaken packer demand for live inventory due to poor margins. Pork cutout values released after the close Friday came in at $78.86, up 76 cents from Thursday and up from $76.89 the previous week. This was a move to the highest level since April 11th, which some traders feel could be the start of a seasonal shift higher with pork prices. Rib vales recovered back to $134.87, up $7.66 for the day. The CME Lean Hog Index as of May 2nd came in at 81.70, down 55 cents from the previous session and down from 82.82 the week before. The estimated hog slaughter came in at 401,000 head Friday and 29,000 head for Saturday. This brought the total for last week to 2.069 million head, down from 2.092 million head the previous week but up from 1.990 million head a year ago.
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