An early break in the hog market again found good demand that carried hogs higher into the close on Friday. July again marked the best gain for the day, settled at a new contract high, and was above $80. The hog index was up $.78 at $74.92 and projected $.63 higher for Monday. A year ago, the index was at $78, and gained another $7 for a summer top at $85 at the end of June.
Hog slaughter this week was counted at 2.249 Mil head, and the lowest non holiday week slaughter of the year. Kill rates peaked in January and have been trending lower since, but also holding well over last year. Cumulative slaughter for the year at 46 Mil head is 2.7% over a year ago and record large. Carcass weights have averaged slightly less than a year ago, but a seasonal drop in weights should get underway once summer heat arrives.
The hog market continues to search for a top, but we are neutral on rallies.