April hogs closed just 7 points higher on the session yesterday, but up 110 from the early lows. The market opened weak and moved moderately lower into the mid-session. The large premium of futures to the cash market, combined with news that cash hogs were steady to $2.00 lower yesterday were widely seen as pressuring the market. While some traders were concerned that the market might see a weather related increase in production, the continued strong pork production levels along with another strong increase in loin prices may have offset a weaker supply tone. A jump in cut-out values have been seen as keeping packer margins in the black, and improving margins this week could help clean-up any backlog of supply. While the cold and snow from last week was thought to have limited producer marketings, most packers seemed to have had their short-term needs met and packer demand was not too aggressive to start out the week. Ideas that more hogs will move to the market following a thaw in the Midwest and residual weakness in pork cut-out values from Friday was seen as adding to the negative tone. Pork cutout values released after the close yesterday came in at $88.99, up 68 cents from Friday and up from $88.87 the previous week. Market expectations for strong export demand during the near future along with declining supply have helped to provide underlying support. The cash market is called steady for today. The CME Lean Hog Index as of February 10th came in at 85.48, up 95 cents from the previous session and up from 81.75 the week before. The estimated hog slaughter came in at 407,000 head yesterday. This was down from 412,000 head last week but up from 385,000 head a year ago as this time. December pork exports came in at 402.1 million pounds which was down slightly from November but up 11.4% from last year. Exports for December represented 19.6% of total US production.