Thu 17 Jan 2013 14:26:33 CT
February hogs closed moderately higher on the session and pushed to the highest level since January 8th. The market failed to trade lower on the day even with a temporary limit-down move in cattle. The market traded sharply higher into the pit opening and after a set-back, futures pushed higher on the day into the mid-session. Solid gains in pork cut-out values late yesterday (highest since December 11th) and continued talk of the seasonal strength expected for the pork cut-out and Lean index over the near-term helped to support. In fact, in the USDA report on Friday, pork production for the first quarter of 2013 is expected to be down 515 million pounds from the 4th quarter. This would be the largest drop in production in history and the projection suggests that the seasonal to move higher in cash markets over the near-term may be more intense than normal. Sub-zero temperatures in the forecast for next week threatens producer marketings and added to the positive tone. The CME Lean Index came in at 84.76 from 84.59 the previous session. Slaughter came in about as expected at 430,000 head.
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