Supply data will drive cattle, hogs

December 5, 2017 09:55 AM

Lean Hog
Officially the general uptrend in hog futures pricing still stands. Though we did not push back over last week's highs in today's trading session, bulls did relatively well. Many traders have noted the gaps open on the charts at lower prices, 69.15 - 69.32 on the February. Those gaps still remain.

The supply end here is not quite as clear as it normally is. Weeks of packers running lighter than expected kills have raised concerns that the normal peak kill of the year, the week after Thanksgiving, may not be this year's peak. 2.535 million head were processed last week. That was a new high kill of the year. Normally we would suggest a slight step down in kills this week then certainly lower ones past this for the remainder of the month. In this case, with weights rising, we may need another big kill week to help clean up this supply before the holidays hit.

Seasonally both the February and April futures typically see the lower trade from November 30 until December 17. Recent hog price action is not quite following the seasonal so we must note a little caution with this information.

Cash hogs are the driver right now, not wholesale pork. Cash hogs were -0.47 on Friday and again lower today on the afternoon update. This is a little more weakness than bulls would like to see. A break to $65 in the February may be a buying opportunity. A push above $73 may be a zone for sales.

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About the Author

Rich Nelson is Director of Research at Allendale, Inc. in McHenry, IL. Allendale is registered with the CFTC and NFA and is a member of the NIBA.