U.S. pit-traded hog futures were lower in the opening minutes of Monday's session, pressured by buyer caution, spillover weakness from live cattle and some of the other commodity sectors.
Light profit taking by long position holders and a lack of outside investor buying also are weighing on hog futures, brokers and analysts said.
Front-month February last traded 0.30 cent, or 0.4%, lower at 80.02 cents a pound. The April contract, the most-active contract, was off 0.37 cent, or 0.4%, at 86.20 cents.
The cash market is expected to be stable to possibly a little higher for late-week deliveries and pork is holding its own, so the weakness in futures "is not fundamentally driven," said Tom Cawthorne, vice president and hog futures trader with R.J. O'Brien. There has been a little chatter among traders about the cold storage report but only a mildly bearish factor, he said.
The monthly report showed a modest increase in pork and beef stocks compared with a year ago.
A broker said some traders may have concerns about how consumers will react to higher retail prices for meat and whether demand overall will be good enough for wholesale pork prices to rise enough to support the current high futures quotes for the summer months.
While cash hog bids were expected to be mostly flat overall, there were indications of some mixed prices due to variable inventory levels among the pork packers.