Lean hog futures were mixed Friday after cash prices fell sharply Thursday and markets traded higher on Bernanke's comments.
October hog futures fell 0.12 cent, or 0.1%, to 87.1 cents a pound in trading at the CME October hog futures rose 0.12 cent, or 0.1%, to 84.57 cents a pound.
October futures fell despite the rally in stocks and commodities. October is currently sensitive to movements in cash prices, which fell in stark fashion Thursday, since those two prices will converge when October futures expire in about seven weeks. Although October prices are well below cash prices--by about 14 cents--they still trade more than seven cents above their highest-ever historical expiration price.
Cash hog prices were reported mostly $1 per hundred pounds lower with some locations down $2 a hundredweight. The processing plants were quoting for next week.
Hurricane Irene is expected to have only minimal effect on pork processing operations Friday. The USDA estimated Friday's slaughter at 390,000 head with 62,000 on Saturday.
The week's total was pegged at 2.114 million, down 0.3% from a year ago.
The terminal markets traded steady to as much as $2 lower on a live basis with top prices from $62 to $70 per hundredweight on a live basis.
The USDA's pork carcass composite value, a measure of wholesale prices, on Thursday was down $1.93 at $102.11 a hundred pounds.