Lean-hog futures closed lower, pressured by concerns about domestic pork demand following recent weakness in wholesale prices and trade caution over flat to lower cash prices. Investor caution and spillover from declines in most other commodities also weighed on lean hogs, brokers said.
Most lean hog contracts hit six-week lows early in the session before rallying on short covering later to trim losses.
May closed down 0.95 cent, or 1.0%, at 96.80 cents a pound. Most-active June fell 0.20 cent, or 0.2%, to 96.50 cents.
Some seasonal strength is still expected for pork prices into May leading up to the Memorial Day holiday, which likely contributed to the late session buying to retrace a portion of the earlier losses, a broker said.
The Midwest direct cash markets were reported flat to as much as $1 per hundred pounds lower. Variable inventories levels for next week could result in flat to mixed prices Friday.
The terminal markets traded flat to $1 lower with tops from $63 to $63.50 on a live basis.