Hog futures continued their recent breakdown overnight. Pessimism about the short-term outlook has probably weighed upon prices lately, but the latest drop almost surely reflects news that China is following in Russian footsteps in calling for independent testing of exported U.S. pork for the growth promotant ractopamine. Unlike Russia, China is a sizeable player in the U.S. pork export market. It looks as if traders may ignore the large jump in pork cutout Tuesday afternoon. April hogs skidded 0.22 cents to 82.82 cents/pound in the pre-dawn hours of Wednesday morning, while June slid 0.07 cents to 91.90.
The cotton market continued its Tuesday surge in overnight trading. There was no big news, although bulls may have been encouraged when ICE officials indicated that no fresh supplies had been added to exchange-registered stocks. Wire service sources again cited fresh buying from Chinese interests returning from Chinese New Year celebrations. March cotton rallied 0.47 cents to 82.65 cents/pound early Wednesday morning, while December gained 0.52 cents to 84.35.