Fiscal cliff issues affected the ag markets again Friday
Thursday afternoon reports of cash hog strength may have supported CME swine values in overnight trading, but the advance couldn’t be sustained through the end of the week. The resulting Friday decline might be blamed on the so-called fiscal cliff negotiations, but we are also inclined to cite the large Thursday afternoon drop in pork cutout. The fact that seasonal ham losses played only a small role in the breakdown seems particularly negative. On the other hand, bullish hog traders may have been exiting sizeable positions ahead of the afternoon (2:00 PM CST) release of the USDA Hogs & Pigs report and the end of the calendar year. February hogs dove 0.65 cents to end the week at 86.45 cents/pound and the June contract settled 0.55 cents lower at 99.60.