April hogs recovered from early losses yesterday to close 27 higher for the session, but more than 60 points off of the mid-session peak. Ideas that large packer profit margins should support higher cash hog trade during the near future was seen as supporting the market after weaker cash hog prices was seen as pushing the market lower early in the day. The rise in pork values late yesterday along with confirmation that South Korea are expanding imports were widely seen as positive forces for the hog market for today's session. News that China has raised their bank reserve requirements to tighten monetary policy for the second time this year was seen as pressuring a wide range of commodity markets overnight. Cash hogs traded steady to $1.00 lower as packers appear for some traders to have enough hogs to meet the demand this week. For the first time in five years, the January hog herd in Canada showed an increase from the previous year's herd. However, the number of sows and gilts in this year's Canadian herd was at their lowest level for 12 years. Stats Canada pegged the hog herd at 11.9 million tonnes, up 0.6% from last year. The CME Lean Hog Index as of February 15 came in at 85.19, down 46 cents from the previous session and up from 83.79 the week before. The estimated hog slaughter came in at 370,000 head yesterday. This brings the total for the week so far to 1.612 million head, down from 1.670 million head last week at this time and down from 1.660 million head a year ago. Pork cutout values released after the close yesterday came in at $89.75, up 70 cents from Wednesday and up from $88.95 the previous week. This pushed pork prices to their highest level since September of 2010. South Korea announced that tariff-free pork imports would be increased by 50,000 to 110,000 tonnes. Imports above 110,000 would be charged the current tariff of 25%. This opens the door for increased pork exports, especially from the US and Canada.