Hog futures held up relatively well in the face of big cattle losses Thursday and through much of Friday trading. Swine traders may be ambivalent about the hog and pork outlook from this point, since plunging cattle and beef prices could change industry perceptions concerning the comparative cheapness of wholesale pork. Conflicting reports concerning Friday morning cash market direction may also have limited the Chicago reaction. Those developments, as well as a lack of wholesale news prior to the Chicago close, may be the underlying reasons CME lean hog futures were widely mixed in early trading. We suspect position squaring undercut the February future at the close. The nearby contract settled 0.62 cents lower, at 85.35 cents/pound, whereas June futures inched 0.05 cents higher to 96.850.
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