Pork Futures: Hogs Weak But Off Lows

CHICAGO - Although profit-taking and fund selling leveled Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean hogs at the start, futures posted only moderate weakness Thursday on the close due to short covering and August/October and October/June bull spreads. Pork bellies closed flat to lower.
calendar icon 20 July 2007
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Meanwhile, live cattle settled lower and feeders steady to firm.

Lean hogs jumped on the open, spurred by Wednesday's sizable pork cutout leap and warmed-over buying after October through December futures raced to fresh monthly hogs.

However, board purchases abated soon after August pierced the 100-day moving average resistance level. Profit- takers flexed their muscle when October matched Wednesday's 72.90-cent contract high. And, Chicago Board of Trade corn was unable to recover from overnight losses, which undercut far-month leanhogs.

August's and October's bearish premiums to CME's hog index dampened front-month buyer interest. October was further pounded by initial August/October bull spreads.

And, Wednesday's nearly 400,000-head kill and higher terminal hog market quotes versus lower direct hog prices kept prospective bulls on their heels.

Nonetheless, scale-down buyers were encouraged by the prospect of general cash firmness Friday due to impressive calculated packer profit margins.

A trader viewed Thursday's late session upward momentum as shorts claiming profits before the weekend, and he suspects more of the same Friday.

Meanwhile, others in the pit are closely monitoring pork cutout values that they say may be harmed if this week's daily slaughters continue at current levels.

Spot August closed over 73.06-cent 40-day moving average support and well under the 74.48-cent 100-day moving average.

Man Financial sold August and bought October outright. ADM was among October buyers. Cadent Financial sold August. Rosenthal was among October sellers.

Source: FXSTREET.com

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