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Pork Futures: Funds, Stops, Charts Boosts Hogs

by 5m Editor
17 May 2007, at 8:24am

CHICAGO - The Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean hogs closed higher on fund buying and buy stops after front-months cleared prime technical resistance levels. Generally positive fundamental factors contributed to advances. Pork bellies closed mostly weak.

Meanwhile, live cattle contracts settled in negative territory while feeders ended mostly firm.

Lean hogs leaped on the open spurred by Tuesday's modest pork cutout increase. Hog market bulls were also inspired by Iowa/Southern Minnesota average hog weights for last week that dropped 1.8 pounds compared with the week before and 3.0 pounds versus last year.

Bullish hog traders, particularly commercials, were further encouraged by areas of cash firmness that was an indication that a few packers may be struggling to secure inventories amid tight supplies.

On the other hand, disruptions at a Missouri-based packing plant caused animals to be diverted elsewhere, and that weighed on cash prices in affected areas, said people familiar with the situation.

Funds entered the mix after June initially bounced off 10-day moving average support and later punched through 20-, 40- and ultimately 100-day moving average thresholds that also tripped buy stops in the process.

June/July and August/October bull and June/August and July/August bear positioning were common.

Bearish market participants are skeptical whether Wednesday's gains will hold on Thursday given the prospect for steady to possibly weak cash bids due to that Missouri plant disruption. What's more, short-position holders point out that wholesale pork buying could diminish as the Memorial Day holiday nears.

Source: FXSTREET.com

5m Editor