CME lean hog futures tried to follow their live cattle counterparts sharply higher Thursday, but ended the day posting much less impressive gains. Still, the situation seems quite supportive of short-term swine prospects, especially after pork cutout jumped 1.71 cents Thursday afternoon. Cash quotes also proved quite firm. Bulls are rather obviously banking upon a sizeable seasonal advance over the next six weeks, as well hog price history implying a strong historical tendency to jump to annual highs in late spring and/or early summer. Still, the hog/pork situation isn’t nearly as tight as that for cattle and beef. February hogs gained 0.10 cents to 86.50 cents/pound overnight, while June futures inched 0.05 cents to 99.00 before the Chicago opening.
Cotton futures apparently moved in opposition to developments in the grain and soy markets Thursday and eventually closed moderately higher on the day. Ultimately, recent news has been much more supportive of the white fiber market than for its crop counterparts, which has been reflected in a moderate upward trend versus their general declines. Still, a short-term test of major support at moderately lower levels seems rather likely at this point, especially if the result of the weekly USDA Export Sales report disappoint the domestic industry. March futures slipped 0.07 cents to 75.32 cents/pound in overnight action, while December fell 0.56 cents to 78.91 cents/pound.