Hog futures were mixed Tuesday, with the expiring April future outperforming its deferred counterparts. Reports of cash strength in the Western Corn Belt may have supported prices as well. Conversely, uncertainty about the wholesale outlook may be weighing upon the deferred contracts. The lightly traded May hog contract closed unchanged at 87.30 cents/pound Tuesday, while the June contract fell 0.70 cents to 89.85.
Cotton futures proved unable to sustain early gains Tuesday. The market seemed to attract significant short covering early in the day, but technical weakness and trader reluctance to become aggressive ahead of the WASDE report apparently dragged the market downward once again. The fact that the nearby May future fell below its 40 and 50-day moving averages Monday dealt a real blow to bulls hoping for a resumption of the winter rally. One has to wonder if this sets the market up for a bullish reaction to the Wednesday morning WASDE report. May cotton slipped 0.74 cents to 84.64 cents/pound late Tuesday morning, while December dipped 0.02 cents to 85.79.