Bullish cattle traders may have been somewhat disappointed that significant cash trading had failed to develop Friday morning, which would partially explain the modest CME losses posted around midsession. They probably expect fed cattle to change hands around 129 cents/pound across the Great Plains this afternoon, thereby at least partially justifying the premiums built into nearby futures. Ultimately, a wholesale breakout to record highs might be required to push the February and April contracts beyond their Thursday peak, but that is not guaranteed. February cattle declined 0.45 cents to 133.40 cents/pound just before the lunch hour, while April dipped 0.32 cents to 137.00 cents/pound.
Thursday afternoon reports indicating sizeable gains in cash hog and wholesale pork values very likely played a substantial role in boosting nearby futures Friday morning. The fact that most pork cuts, with the exception of the butts posted significant gains seemed particularly impressive, since bulls are almost surely relying upon much more of the same during the weeks just ahead. Bulls may also have been pleased to see projections for the CME lean hog index, which futures cash-settle against, move above the 83.00-cent level. That makes the advances implied by nearby futures seem more easily attainable. February hogs surged rose 0.50 cents to 86.90 cents/pound around mid-session, whereas its June counterpart was just 0.15 cents higher at 99.10.