U.S. lean hog futures showed further signs of stabilizing Friday after a recent pull-back in prices.
Analysts said prices for hogs futures had run up to record levels last month on an outlook for continued increases in feed prices, strong Asian exports and solid domestic demand. Those factors, however, didn't materialize as expected, fueling the recent setback in prices.
June hog futures, the most active contract, fell 0.05 cent, or 0.05%, to 92.37 cents a pound, while the July contract fell 0.67 cents, or 0.7%, at 92.6 cents a pound. The May contract climbed 1.77 cents, or 1.9%, to 93.35 cents a pound in light volume ahead of expiration next week.
In the cash markets, prices next week could face continued pressure as packers look to rebuild margins by pulling back production in the face of slumping pork demand. Yet hog supplies may tighten enough to steady markets. Terminal markets traded steady, with top prices at $61 per hundred pounds on a live basis.
The Dow Jones Newswires pork packer margin index stands at minus $2.54 per head, down from plus $1.98 per head the previous day.
Wholesale pork prices Thursday fell 37 cents to $90.47 per hundred pounds, according to USDA data.