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The Lean Hog Perspective

RSS By: Jeremy Knutson

This lean hog and feed commentary contains thoughts from Jeremy Knutson, a commodity broker with Hurley & Associates.

Hog & Corn Comments - 02-10-09 - Hog wild day in the pig market!

Feb 10, 2009

Hog Comments - 02-10-09 - Hog wild day in the pig market!

If you have questions, comments or suggestions, contact me at 1-877-212-2564 or email me at jknutson@hurleyandassociates.comTo read what I was thinking at the highs and lows of the market go to to view my archived posts.
Jeremy Knutson


CORN - March '09 Electronic
Open - $3.74 1/2, High - $3.80, Low - $3.68, Close - $3.76 3/4 Down $.00 3/4

As a review from yesterday I said I thought the $3.69 to $3.66 would be a target area of mine for the very short-term.  The market low today was $3.68 so we have met that objective thus far.  I had orders in to buy futures against my long $3.60 puts today and I only filled 1/3 of my position at $3.69 and my orders at $3.65 and $3.63 were unfilled.

I think the market will have some follow through and open up slightly this evening but find resistance rather early in the session.  I think the market will continue to retreat back toward $3.74 and ultimately the $3.68 level which was today's low.  I think we still have some downside potential even with the rally that we had on the close today.  The funds were net sellers today but not in any major fashion.

Bottom line - I expect a slightly higher open tonight with almost immediate resistance and then we should sell off and test $3.74 but I ultimately think we will touch $3.68 again either tonight or tomorrow.  The Senate passed the stimulus package today and guess what the Dow Jones has done since then; it has moved lower and is now trading down around 380 points as I write this.  With this being said I think we should see some spillover weakness from Wall Street tonight.

MEAL - March '09 Electronic
Open - $313.40, High - $316.20, Low - $307.10, Close - $312.10 Down $1.70
March '09 meal tested the area I talked about yesterday, I said a believed we would test $310.50 with an ultimate test of the $307.80 to $305.30 area.  The March '09 low today was $307.10 which met my target objective in the short-term.  I still think we need another test of the $307.80 to $305.30 area once again which could happen either tonight or tomorrow.  The daily chart still doesn't look that great from a bullish perspective and I still have my call spread in place as well as my long $290.00 March '09 puts to buy futures against if we break far enough.

Bottom line - As I mentioned above I think we will be weaker tonight and even tomorrow early in the session.  The market still doesn't feel great from a bullish perspective and therefore I don't want to have aggressive positions in place with the market looking like it does.  I will continue to have some type of coverage in place in case I'm wrong because it is no secret that I have been before!

HOGS - April '09 GLOBEX
Open - $60.575, High - $62.75, Low - $60.075, Close - $62.30 Up $2.225
April '09 hogs had a great day with the market rallying $2.225/cwt today and keeping my buy signal from Friday intact.  I was weary of the strength of the signal with yesterday's action but we didn't take out the previous low of $59.80 which is the risk management stop area.  The market still looks good to me from an intra-day perspective and I believe we will continue to move higher tomorrow.

With today's move I am feeling better about my buy signal at $60.65 that I talked about for Friday.  If this signal is good, which after today feels much better, we should continue to move higher from here.  This signal is common at market tops and bottoms in the past and this could be a bottom too but we need to see more confirmation from a weekly perspective to make that call.

Bottom line - I am still not hedged and have been waiting for a long time but I don't want to get stuck in front of a big rally from low market levels.  Being we closed above $61.92 I look for the market to test $63.25 and if we can get above this level then we should see some GOOD short-covering in the market place and then get up to the $65.75 to the $67.15 area.  I don't expect a test of these levels until we close above $63.25 for a few days first.  I look for the market to rally again tomorrow and challenge today's high of $62.75 and then the $63.25 area shortly thereafter.


Des Moines, IA     Tue, Feb 10, 2009     USDA Market News

Purchases equated to FOB Omaha Basis.

Compared to Monday's Close:         Fresh 1/4 trim loins weak;
butts 1.00-2.00 higher; sknd hams 20-23 lbs mostly 2.00 higher, 23-27 lbs
mostly 2.00 lower; sdls bellies steady; lean trimmings steady to mostly 2.00
lower.  Trading moderated, with light to moderate demand and moderate to heavy

Loads PORK CUTS          :            131.80
Loads TRIM/PROCESS PORK  :              23.0

Based on FOB Omaha carlot pork prices and industry yields.

           Calculations for a 200 lb Pork Carcass
        53-54% lean, 0.65"-0.80" backfat at last rib
         Total                   Today's Primal Cutout Values
Date     Loads      Carcass    Loin    Butt   Pic     Rib   Ham  Belly
02/10       154.8      57.81   76.41   62.60  37.71 101.21 39.45  72.36
Change :                0.06    0.06    2.82  -0.41  -0.16 -0.91  -0.02

Des Moines, IA     Tue, Feb 10, 2009     USDA-IA Dept of Ag Market News

National Direct Hog Price Comparison

                :  National   :    Iowa     :   Western   :   Eastern
                :             :  Minnesota  :  Cornbelt   :  Cornbelt
   Base Price is the price from which no discounts are subtracted and
   no premiums are added.
BARROWS & GILTS :  1.44 hgr   :  2.05 hgr   :  2.01 hgr   :   .97 lwr
Negotiated      :             :             :             :
CARCASS BASIS   : 44.00-58.78 : 45.00-58.78 : 45.00-58.78 : 44.00-55.55
185 lb Base Hog :   wtd avg   :   wtd avg   :   wtd avg   :   wtd avg
Plant Delivered :    55.22    :    57.15    :    57.08    :    50.92
Head Count      :   26,895    :   13,993    :   18,794    :    8,101



Hurley & Associates believes positions are unique to each person’s risk bearing ability; marketing strategy; and crop conditions, therefore we give no blanket recommendations. The risk of loss in trading commodities can be substantial, therefore, carefully consider whether such trading is suitable for you in light of your financial condition. NFA Rules require us to advise you that past performance is not indicative of future results, and there is no guarantee that your trading experience will be similar to the past perfor
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