Pork futures prices posted strong gains Thursday, continuing a virtually uninterrupted nine-week advance.
Pork belly contracts for delivery in distant months advanced the 2 cents-a-pound limit for daily trading on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Live hog futures also moved ahead strongly, setting new contract highs before retreating a bit later in the session.
"It was a pretty active day, with cash hogs bringing 57.50 to 57.75 cents (a pound), setting new highs for the year," said Philip Stanley, an analyst in Chicago with Thomson McKinnon Securities Inc.
But he said hog futures lost some of their gains on the belief that cash prices could be steady to lower on Friday and on the possibility that some packers may be shutting down operations because of poor profit margins.