A two-day rally in pork futures collapsed Wednesday under the fear that cash prices may have moved too far, too fast this week.
The October hog contract gained 0.35 cent a pound, but the other deliveries were losers and pork bellies retreated close to 2 cents a pound.
On some other markets, platinum and gold were lower, most grains and soybeans were higher and energy futures were mixed.
Hog futures advanced the 1 1/2 cents-a-pound limit for daily trading on Tuesday because some labor disputes threatening the industry were settled. Cash prices were up $2 to $3 per hundredweight then and 50 cents to $3 higher again on Wednesday.
Pork futures began firming several days ago when clearing weather over the Midwest signaled fewer animals being brought to market because farmers would be concentrating on harvesting corn and soybeans. "However, after putting on $3 to $6 in two days, everybody thought, 'Now wait a minute, that's a lot of money real quick'," said Charlie Richardson, an analyst in Denver with Lind-Waldock.