Persistent dryness and exports prospects supporting grain markets
The big Monday cattle rally probably pulled CME lean hog futures upward as well, although bulls in the swine pit could also point to the discount built into nearby hog futures with just over two weeks before the February contract expires. However, the cash hog and wholesale pork markets are not cooperating very well with those in the bullish camp. For example, after having climbed consistently since mid-December, the CME lean hog index seems set to slip 0.09 cents to 88.42 cents/pound when officially quoted Wednesday morning. Direct country markets posted lower quotes again this morning, although the latter preliminary figures are not reliable. In the end, we are not confident the hog market gain rally all that substantially in the absence of bullish leadership from the cattle/beef complex. February hogs had slipped 0.10 cents to 87.07 cents/pound just before the lunch hour, whereas June futures had climbed 0.60 cents to 98.25.