Genesus Global Market Report USA, February 2020

Allan Bentley, Sales, Genesus Genetics

“Capitalize on confusion”

The pork show season is almost over and we get to visit with a lot of people in the pork industry during this time.

I am going to piggy back off Jim Long’s comments in his commentary about questioning the need for lean hog futures. I don’t know of any comment Jim has made that provoked so much discussion at a pork show.

I believe Jim is correct, algorithm and day traders are capitalizing on the confusion and mixed messages coming out of Washington D.C. and China. Dr. Joe Carr explained it to me as if the fundamentals have become the boundary lines of the football field, and although that may define the basic rules, the traders can run all over that football field in any direction they want.

There is absolutely no fundamental reason hog futures are where they are right now, maybe because traders are controlling the market? I have been quite involved with bankers from Missouri to Minnesota and they too are very disappointed in the lack of response from hog futures.

The fact that 25% of the hog population is gone should be affecting the market in a positive way for producers. Bankers used to use an inelastic number for hog prices of 4, meaning for every 1 percent change in the supply, the price should react the opposite by 4%. I do not need a calculator to tell you that 25% fewer hogs should mean much higher prices then we are seeing today.

Bankers nor market analysts can’t explain why this is happening. They are as confused as anyone in the pork industry. Maybe the Democrats should investigate the trading practices in Chicago instead of President Trump. A very smart man once told me to “capitalize on confusion.”  I am thinking he must have worked in Chicago!

PEDv is starting to pop up sporadically in herds and PRRS is always a problem but these issues probably won’t affect the markets either.  The bottom line is that there is a huge gap of pigs in China and they need to replace that loss.

When will the market be a true barometer for supply versus demand and not what traders think pork is worth?  Again, traders seem to be able to “capitalize on confusion” and the producers are suffering from their manipulation of the Chicago Board of Trade.

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