Hogs: Talk about PED has not stopped simmering; it has just moved to the back burner. Weaker cash hog markets and weaker product have traders taking profits after the $4 rally in less than a week. The discrepancy between the USDA Hogs & Pigs report and actual hog slaughter for the last six weeks has number crunchers scratching their heads.
We will get a cold storage number on Friday, which will give some idea if we are building inventory of pork. Technically, the trend remains up and would expect to see support on breaks until we see hog slaughter numbers pick up. Pork cutout values at noon were down $1.56.
Cattle: Cattle traders are positioning themselves for the Cattle on Feed report Friday afternoon. Newswire surveys have trade expecting placements to increase by 1.5% compared to last year. We have to remember that a year ago placements were a record low due to tight corn supplies and high feed cost. Cash trade remains at a standstill but product continues to strengthen.
Midday beef values were higher on Wednesday with choice up 1.07 and select up 1.94. Product is expected to remain firm even with competition from turkey at the retail counter. Futures price trend is still up and any retracements are expected to find support. The first level of support crosses at 132.60.