Despite the big cattle rally Friday and indications of considerable cash strength in early-morning trading, CME lean hog futures finished the week on a down note. The prospect of a substantial slowdown in pork buying during the run-up to the year-end holidays, as well as depressed packer buying during that same period may have weighed upon swine values. Midday news of a two-cent drop in ham prices confirmed the usual pre-holiday breakdown and probably added to the negative atmosphere. Still, swine traders are fully cognizant of the upside potential open to the market once the industry has gotten past its holiday disruptions. February hogs fell 0.50 cents to 85.45, while June slipped 0.17 cents to 99.90 cents/pound to end the week.
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