Lean hog futures Monday rallied along with live cattle and grain markets as investors saw these food-based commodities as a good investment amid declines in stocks and gains in the U.S. dollar index.
May hogs rose 0.17 cent, or 0.18%, to $1.0260 a pound. June, the most active contract, was up 0.20 cent, or 0.20%, at $1.0127.
Hog futures reversed early losses after the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported stable cash markets about the time that grain and cattle markets began to rally. Hog prices moved up and ended nearly flat on the day.
Traders were expecting food consumption to remain nearly stable even if the economic recovery from recession stalled, Smith said.
Pork packer demand also was firm in parts of the Midwest as plants sought more hogs to round out their slaughter needs. However, plants in eastern portions of the Midwest appeared to have adequate supplies of hogs being marketed locally and were having less trouble finding what they needed.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's pork carcass composite value Friday rose $0.57 per hundred pounds to $96.57, surpassing an eight-month high hit Wednesday. The all-time high of $96.74 was set on Aug. 24, 2010.
Market analysts credited the strength of pork markets for adding to the support in futures markets.
Cash hog prices Tuesday were expected to be generally flat. Two plants are scheduled to be closed on Good Friday and nine or 10 are expected to be closed on April 25 in observance of the Easter holiday.
The terminal markets traded flat with at $64 on a live basis.