April hogs closed 85 lower on the session yesterday, but managed to close 145 above the early lows. The large premium of April futures over the cash market was widely seen as triggering the heavy setback, which led to sharply lower pricing for the session. April hogs rallied 9.7% in just 5 trading sessions towards the highs on Monday, as some traders feel the rally may have already priced in much of the positive impact of the burst in buying from South Korea. The CME Lean Hog Index as of January 28th came in at 79.12, up 80 cents from the previous session and up from 76.47 the week before. This leaves April hogs at a premium of nearly 1,400 points to the cash market as compared with the 5-year average premium near 500 points for this time of the year. Ideas that the storm in the Midwest will limit marketings helped to support the cash market but with futures at a much larger than normal premium to the cash market, some traders see an aggressive export pace as being already priced into the market. Other traders see the possibility that this major winter storm will back-up some hogs in the country. With packers cutting back on slaughter operations due to the weather, the winter storm was not seen as supporting higher cash markets as packer demand for live inventory has also shown a decline. The estimated hog slaughter came in at 382,000 head yesterday. This brings the total for the week so far to 759,000 head, down from 845,000 head last week at this time and down from 834,000 head a year ago. Pork cutout values released after the close yesterday came in at $88.95, up 34 cents from Monday and up from $86.59 the previous week. This is the highest pork cut-out since September 27th. Ribs were up $3.35 to $147.82. Cash markets are called steady today.