Lean hog futures closed mostly higher, aided by the stout gains in cattle and expectations for strong export sales as well pulling against domestic supplies.
April lean hogs were up 0.62 cent, or 0.7%, at 89.75 a pound. June was up 0.27 cent, or 0.3%, at $1.0195 a pound.
Rising cattle prices indicate that wholesale and retail beef prices will move up as well, which could pull up pork values, too, analysts said. Shoppers at grocery stores may switch some meal plans to pork from beef in a bid to save money. That could result in additional sales even though pork prices are also well above a year ago with a 22% gain year-to-date.
In the cash hog markets, price quotes from most pork processors in the Midwest were unchanged from Tuesday. A few plants were looking for additional loads for arrival late this week and others were adding to their inventories for next week.
Projections for Saturday's slaughter were raised to around 75,000 head from 65,000 earlier. That put the week's total on pace to reach about 2.155 million, which would be up nearly 1% from a year ago.
The expanded Saturday operations and desire by processors to move more hogs through the plants were viewed by traders and analysts as supportive for futures and indicated improving demand for the pork.