Hog futures are soft in early Wednesday trade despite the further strength in cash hogs Tuesday. That’s at least partly because futures remain at a strong premium to cash, though the gap is closing. Deferred contracts are under pressure from ideas the big premiums they hold over nearby contracts may be overdone if producers have tempered production cutbacks evident in the last Hogs& Pigs Report. In early morning trade, December hogs are 12 1/2 lower at $84.32 1/2; May futures down 90 at $97.60 and June down 20 at $99.85.
Cotton futures are mixed in early trade Wednesday, with some contracts recovering slightly from Tuesday’s sharp losses and other contracts losing a bit more ground. Failure to show any progress on avoiding the “fiscal cliff” has become a particularly negative factor for cotton futures. Traders know that should every American family see a big jump in tax withholding come January 1, new apparel is at the top of the list of discretionary spending families can cut back on. In early Wednesday trade, March cotton is up 14 points at 73.05, but new crop October cotton is down 20 points at 76.47.