Pig outlook: Cash hog/pork market fundamentals starting to improve

Analyst Jim Wyckoff shares an update on global pig news
calendar icon 5 May 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Lean hog futures bears continue to hold the firm overall near-term technical advantage, with no strong, early clues that a market bottom is close at hand. The latest CME lean hog index was up 76 cents to $73.78 (as of May 2), continuing the recent gains as the seasonal rally appears to be starting. Tuesday’s wholesale pork quotes were the highest since mid-March. Pork demand from grocers and consumers has improved. Also, the pork market and futures could see support if slaughter totals match the annually unchanged levels implied by the March USDA Hogs & Pigs report. Mid-April totals averaged about 3.3% over comparable year-ago rates, while last week’s preliminary result rose 0.9% from last year.

Weekly USDA pork export sales

Pork: Net US export sales of 49,000 MT for 2023 were down 9 percent from the previous week, but up 15 percent from the prior 4-week average. Increases were primarily for Mexico (14,600 MT, including decreases of 600 MT), China (14,200 MT, including decreases of 200 MT), South Korea (7,700 MT, including decreases of 800 MT), Japan (3,400 MT, including decreases of 300 MT), and Canada (2,700 MT, including decreases of 400 MT). Exports of 38,600 MT--a marketing-year high--were up 2 percent from the previous week and 10 percent from the prior 4-week average. The destinations were primarily to Mexico (15,100 MT), China (5,800 MT), Japan (4,700 MT), South Korea (4,100 MT), and Canada (1,700 MT).

The next week’s likely high-low price trading ranges:

June lean hog futures--$84.625 to $93.00 and with a sideways bias

July soybean meal futures--$410.00 to $440.00, and with a sideways-lower bias

July corn futures--$5.69 1/4 to $6.00 and a sideways bias

Latest analytical daily charts lean hog, soybean meal and corn futures

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