CME lean hog futures traded in a mixed fashion Thursday, possibly due to differences in contract prices on their respective charts. That is, the nearby February future remains well above its December lows, whereas the April and June contracts have fallen to their lowest levels since October. Cash and wholesale weakness earlier this week clearly weighed upon the market during its Wednesday breakdown. Conversely, mixed country quotes and a modest wholesale advance probably supported futures Thursday night. Nearby futures seem due for a bounce, but technicians might warn of the potential for a follow-through breakdown. February hogs slipped one tick to 84.57 cents/pound as traders were arriving at the Chicago pit this morning, whereas June had risen 0.05 cents to 96.60.
Cotton traders seemed somewhat impressed with the result of the weekly Export Sales report Thursday, although wire service sources cited the concurrent breakdown being suffered by the U.S. dollar for the rise in white fiber values. Futures later seemed to turn downward in concert with the mid-morning soybean reversal, but the New York market ultimately proved able to sustain a portion of its gains through the close. Those continued in Thursday night trading, possibly due to bullish expectations for the forthcoming USDA data. Bears may also have been evening up their positions. March cotton rose 0.41 cents to 75.61 cents/pound in pre-dawn trading, but December slipped 0.09 cents to 79.00.