The bitter cold weather has slowed producer marketing’s, and this has supported higher trade in pork products and a firm tone for the cash market. USDA pork cutout values, released after the close Wednesday, came in at $77.61, up 16 cents from Tuesday and up from $75.66 the previous week. This was the highest the cutout had been since December 12. The CME Lean Hog Index as of December 29 came in at 62.23, up 51 cents from the previous session and up from 61.76 the previous week. Furthermore, the USDA estimated hog slaughter came in at 462,000 head Wednesday. This brings the total for the week so far to 907,000 head, up from 821,000 last week at this time and up from 885,000 a year ago.
Overall, cold weather continues to provide underlying and temporary support on ideas that the movement of hogs will be somewhat slower, but if they back up in the country, a warmer day could bring heavier weight hogs and higher production than expected.
Lean Hogs Feb ’18 Daily Chart