December lean hogs closed at 57.90 with a bounce off the 50-day and 200-day moving average showing a little strength with the 50 DMA, making it look like it wants to crossover the 200 DMA to the upside. In the upcoming G20 summit, any trade talks that may take place between China and the United States, soybeans and pork will be the main topics of conversation. Any positive news that comes from this meeting will bring the pork prices higher, with imports expecting to rapidly increase if a trade deal is in sight, especially after all the African Swine Fever news that has been coming out of China. After the USDA report that came out last week there was an increase of roughly $5.00 per head, and we started seeing an increase of smaller pig prices, both in the early weans and feeder pigs. The downside news to the market is that the cash market has been weak, with losses coming in the previous 5 days. If China has not yet been increasing their imports of pork, along with the premium of the futures to the cash market right now, then the record supply of pork in the market right now will continue to put selling pressure on the hogs. The USDA estimated hog slaughter came in at 469,000 head yesterday. This brings the total for the week so far to 915,000 head, down from 958,000 last week at this time but up from 908,000 a year ago. The ’19 contracts look bullish and if there is any positive trade news comes between the US and China then that could move the near-term contracts higher in the face of record supply and test the $60 resistance level.
Lean Hogs Dec ’18 Daily Chart