Front-month February pit-traded hog futures were higher in early trading Monday on support from a flat to higher outlook for the cash market to begin the week while the summer and fall contracts were mixed.
February hogs were up 0.25 cent, or 0.3%, at 84.75 cents a pound. April, the most active contract, was last off 0.17 cent, or 0.2%, at 91.47 cents.
Cash prices were stronger in four of the five days last week and are expected to be flat to higher again Monday, said Rich Nelson, director of research with Allendale Inc. That is supportive for the February contract which will expire in a week.
April was pressured by its premium to the current cash markets, a broker said.
Brokers and analysts said after an initial selloff in the deferred contracts led by concerns of a stronger dollar and possible spillover pressure from weakness in some commodity sectors, buying interest emerged and pulled prices up in most contracts.
Some traders may have been concerned about hog supplies becoming backed up on the farms last week due to the winter storm. The rebound in slaughter rates Friday and Saturday along with some firmer bids seen in the cash markets to begin the week, however, indicate that marketings did not become delayed, Nelson said.
The cash market is expected to be flat to higher on buying interest for additional loads to be delivered during the first half of the week. Some plants reportedly have sufficient supplies for later in the week while others may need to buy more to fill their slaughter schedules for Thursday through Saturday.