Pig outlook: Lean hog futures bears in command

Analyst Jim Wyckoff shares an update on the US futures market, USDA reports and global pig news
calendar icon 26 August 2022
clock icon 3 minute read

The pig traders’ perspective: October lean hog futures this week slumped to a six-week low and the bears have seized the near-term technical advantage, suggesting more downside price pressure in the near term. There are expectations the cash hog market will continue slipping. Seasonally, the cash and futures markets tend to put in tops in late summer and then see prices work sideways to lower into the end of the year. Pork cutout value on Wednesday fell another $2.09 to $102.99, a three-month low fueled partly by a decline of over $6 in bellies. The latest CME lean hog index is down $1.18 to $118.00, around a one-month low.

Some Senate Democrats call for USDA to rethink efforts on methane digesters

Five Senate Democrats want USDA to back away from plans to encourage the installation of methane digesters at livestock operations, warning USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack in a letter that the effort will result in more consolidation in agriculture and the U.S. food industry. The lawmakers cited costs for a methane digester range from $400,000 to $5 million and “would not be economic viable without significant public subsidies and incentives.” They argued that money spent on subsidizing methane digesters are funds that “cannot be spent on alternative manure management strategies or regenerative agriculture practices.”

Latest USDA monthly cold storage report

July 2022 Highlights: Total red meat supplies in freezers were down 1% from the previous month but up 23% from last year. Total pounds of beef in freezers were down 1% from the previous month but up 27% from last year. Frozen pork supplies were down 2% from the previous month but up 20% from last year. Stocks of pork bellies were down 20% from last month but up 53% from last year.

Total frozen poultry supplies on July 31, 2022 were up 5% from the previous month and up 6% from a year ago. Total stocks of chicken were up 6% from the previous month and up 12 percent from last year. Total pounds of turkey in freezers were up 3% from last month but down 3% from July 31, 2021.

China’s pork imports unchanged in July but well below year-ago

China imported 120,000 MT of pork in July, unchanged from June but down 65.1% from last year. Through the first eight months of this year, China imported 930,000 MT of pork, also down 65.1% from the same period last year.

The next week’s likely high-low price trading ranges:

October lean hog futures--$86.825 to $95.00, and with a sideways-lower bias

December soybean meal futures--$400.00 to $450.00, and with a sideways-higher bias

December corn futures--$6.30 to $6.90 and a sideways-higher bias

Latest analytical daily charts lean hog, soybean meal and corn futures

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