Hog futures also appeared to suffer from the latest economic/financial market developments late last week. Again, weak employment data and declining equity values suggests slower economic growth, while the declining yen could slow U.S. pork exports. Midsession reports of significant cash market gains seemingly did little to limit losses. Hog futures are probably more vulnerable from a scare associated with the Chinese bird flu problem than are cattle. The lightly traded May hog contract crashed 2.25 cents to 86.90 cents/pound its Friday close, while June plummeted 2.32 cents to 89.70.
Cotton futures apparently benefited from strength spilling over from the grain and soybean complexes Monday morning. Rising food production prices tend to increase competition for arable land across the Southern U.S. The relatively firm equity market close last Friday, as well as the modest increase stock index futures gains posted overnight may also be encouraging buying (since that ultimately implies increased apparel demand from consumers. On the other hand, talk of Indian government cotton sales from stocks can hardly be seen as bullish. May cotton rose 0.15 cents to 86.94 cents/pound early Monday morning, while December gained 0.13 cents to 86.84.