Hog futures also fell moderately in overnight trading. Although the direct cash markets posted modest gains Wednesday afternoon, the late wholesale report almost guaranteed a significantly lower opening this morning. That is, in addition to a dramatic breakdown in primal ham values, pork loins dropped rather substantially as well. Traders are probably worried about a repeat of the weak environment experienced through late winter and early spring last year. April hogs moved 0.45 cents lower, to 85.35 cents/pound overnight, while June skidded 0.40 cents to 93.75.
Cotton futures moved moderately lower Thursday morning after dropping substantially on Tuesday and Wednesday. Talk of burgeoning stockpiles deliverable against the ICE contracts reportedly caused the breakdown. Prices actually fell to 80.05 cents/pound (basis March) at the Wednesday low, the rebounded rather sharply. Bulls are almost surely hoping that marks an end to the decline suffered over the past three weeks, whereas others are probably expecting a test of the 78.00-cent area. The USDA Export Sales report due for release at 7:30 AM CST could determine short-term market direction. March cotton slipped 0.02 cents, to 80.80 cents/pound in early morning trading, while December dipped 0.27 cents to 82.50.