Hog futures rose modestly Thursday, but traders were clearly unwilling to become very aggressive in the market before the late afternoon release of the quarterly USDA Hogs & Pigs report. That seemed bearish for the spring and summer contracts on the opening later this morning (remember that markets were closed for Good Friday). April hogs rose 0.52 cents to 80.60 cents/pound at their Thursday afternoon close, while June gained 0.40 cents to 91.07.
The March 28 USDA Prospective Plantings report stated 2013 cotton plantings at 10.026 million acres, which came in slightly below the average pre-report estimate at 10.08 million. Thus, the data seemed moderately supportive for ICE futures. However, the bearish tide that swept over the other crop markets weighed upon cotton as well. Conversely, futures began this week on a strong note in apparent response to overnight news that Chinese officials had not stepped up their cotton sales from stocks, thereby contradicting bearish statements made last week. May cotton rose 0.49 cents to 88.95 cents/pound early Monday morning, while December gained 0.50 cents to 87.87.