Analysis: Hogs & Pork

Hogs End Mixed At Midweek

Mar 22, 3:49 pm | Hogs & Pork

It was a very mixed day of trade in the hog market through Wednesday. April traded inside and finished firm, while summer hog prices slipped deeper into oversold territory and closed with modest losses. The CME’s lean hog index was down $.13 at $71.48 and the USDA reported negotiated trade for Wednesday was $.52 lower. The pork cutout was $1.92 lower and under $80 for the first time in 9 weeks. Packer margins have tightened up this week, with the lean to cutout spread narrowing back to $7.56/cwt, down from $11 last year but inline with the 5 year average.     The monthly Cold Storage report showed end of month February pork stocks at 572 Mil Lbs, 109% of…

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Hogs Continue Lower Through Tuesday’s Trading

Mar 21, 3:43 pm | Hogs & Pork

After a steady start to the morning, hog futures turned back down and finished lower on Tuesday. Prevailing short term trends are bearish, which has kept steady downward pressure on prices through the week. The lean index was down $.13 at $71.61 and projected another $.13 lower for Wednesday, while the afternoon hog report showed negotiated trade up $.22 on good volume.     The pork cutout value was down $.36 in the morning and another $.50 weaker in the afternoon at $80.96. The pork belly value was $5.52 lower and on a weekly basis is nearly $49 (27%) under the February high, and has also slipped back under the highs that were marked in January and July of last…

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Hogs Start The Week Mixed On Nearby Weakness

Mar 20, 3:26 pm | Hogs & Pork

After a firm start on Monday, April hogs quickly found selling back above the 50 day moving average and then traded lower through the day. The nearby weakness also kept summer prices under pressure, while hog futures for the 4th quarter posted modest gains. The lean hog index was down a dime on Monday at $71.74, and the weekend slaughter data projects another $.13 lower for Tuesday. However, packers were bidding for loads on Monday and the negotiated trade was quoted $.42 higher, with good volume noted. The pork cutout moved from -$.39 in the morning to -$.14 in the afternoon, with weaker loins and hams offsetting a $4 jump in the belly value.   Scheduled loads reported on Monday…

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Hogs Trade Down Ahead Of The Weekend

Mar 17, 2:43 pm | Hogs & Pork

April hogs were lower at the morning open on Friday and spent the entire day trading in the red. At the close, April and June were each back under their 50 day moving averages, while December was on the low of the week. The lean hog index was down $.15 at $71.84 and projected another dime lower for Monday.   The August hog crush spread ticked slightly higher this week, as a slight increase in hog prices was better than a modest increase in feed costs. However, the spread remains well under both last year and the 5 year average. Placed against hog feeding margins have been below average since the start of the year, though weaned pig prices have…

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Hogs Trade Weaker Through Thursday

Mar 16, 3:16 pm | Hogs & Pork

April Hogs were higher at the open on Thursday, but quickly turned down and spent most of the day trading in the red. A late rally back above unchanged was short lived, and the hog market finished the day lightly mixed, but little changed. The lean hog index was a nickel higher at $71.99, but project to fall back $.15 on Friday. The USDA called the negotiated trade $.94 lower for Thursday on lighter volume, and the cutout value slipped another $.84 lower to $81.34.     Pork export shipments last week were reported at a new high for the year, and the largest in 12 weeks. The weekly sales rate was at the lowest of the year, however cumulative…

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Hogs Consolidate Early Week Gains

Mar 15, 3:56 pm | Hogs & Pork

Hogs were weaker at the open on Wednesday and spent the day trading back and forth before closing weaker. Early resistance in April noted against unchanged, and support was uncovered on breaks under $70. The lean hog index was down $.20 at $71.94, and projected a nickel higher for Thursday, breaking a 3 week losing streak. Negotiated trade was up another $.19 on good volume, while the cutout was down $.58.      Hog slaughter at midweek was at 1.31 million head, the lowest in 4 weeks, but still 3% larger than a year ago. The chart plots cumulative hog slaughter from December 1st, which this year totals 35 Mil head or 4% over last year. The slaughter figure matches…

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Hogs Extended Gains Through Tuesday

Mar 14, 3:06 pm | Hogs & Pork

Hog futures were firm at the open on Tuesday and able to build on Monday’s technical strength, and the market closed higher across the board. June hogs marked the best close in 4 weeks, while December just barely marked a new contract high. In the cash market, negotiated hog trade was quoted $.55 lower, while the pork cutout went from +$1.46 in the morning to +$.40 in the afternoon pork report.   While the cash market continues to grind lower, the CME this week has found support from the historically wide difference between the cash market and April hog futures. At the start of the month, April was nearly $8 under versus the average of $3 over. The gap has narrowed…

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US Livestock Herd Update

Mar 14, 10:39 am | Cattle, Hogs & Pork, Poultry

NASS is in the process of collecting and tabulating pork producer surveys for the March inventory report that will be released at the end of the month. The December Hogs and Pigs report showed that the US hog breeding herd had grown by 1.5% from the previous year, and was the largest since 2007. Producers also indicated to the USDA that they intended to farrow 1% more sows in both the Dec-Feb and Mar-May quarters. Both the inventory data and producer intentions ran opposite of the economic signal that the market has been sending since the spring of 2016, which was “slow down”. The latest slaughter data indicates that producers may finally be paring back sow inventories, slightly. The weekly…

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Hogs Start The Week With Strong Gains

Mar 13, 3:21 pm | Hogs & Pork

Hogs were higher at the morning open and strong demand developed as April pushed above the 50 day moving average, which left futures with strong gains on Monday. Hog prices for the 4th quarter advanced slightly, but again stopped just short of contract highs.   The lean hog index was down 8 cents on Monday at $72.51, and the weekend slaughter data projects another $.37 lower for Tuesday. The afternoon hog report showed that packers were not looking for additional loads, this week, and the negotiated trade was off $.91 in light volume.   Scheduled loads for the week that were reported on Monday were 1% larger than a week, ago and project a total weekly hog kill just over…

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Hogs End Firm Ahead Of The Weekend

Mar 10, 3:50 pm | Hogs & Pork

Hogs settled lightly mixed, but little changed on Friday and mostly higher for the week. An early break in April hogs found support just above monthly lows that supported a move to back above unchanged late in the day, while the rest of the market was well above early morning lows by the close.  The lean hog index was down a penny on Friday at $72.59, which puts the weekly net change at -$1.42. Monday’s projection is another 8 cents lower.   The weekly Commitment of Traders report showed another big week of fund liquidation in the hog market. Managed Money futures/options position in hog futures was reported as net long 45,890 contracts, down 7,379 contracts from the previous week and…

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