April hogs pushed to a new contract high, while October hogs closed up the 300 point limit on Friday as the market closed up 457 points for the week. Some traders feel that this rally may be impressive given that pork production for the week was up 3.1% from last year. While outside market forces were clearly negative, the market found support from higher cash hog trade and from expectations that China will emerge as an active importer for the 4th quarter of 2011. A general perception that lower feed grain prices could encourage expansion of the herd were though to have supported nearby hog futures with a shift to an expansion mode possibly causing a hold-back in gilts this fall also seen as a positive factor. Packer margins are in the black and available slaughter supply is shifting from the 180 pound and above category from the Hogs and pigs report to supply emerging from the 120-179 pound category, which was up 0.7% from last year. With lower weights and the possibility of an export rise from last year, available US supply may be tighter than expected. The CME Lean Hog Index as of September 28th came in at 91.05, down 40 cents from the previous session and up from 90.52 the week before. The estimated hog slaughter came in at 421,000 head Friday and 126,000 head for Saturday. This brought the total for last week to 2.250 million head, down from 2.289 million head the previous week but up from 2.150 million head a year ago. Pork cutout values released after the close Friday came in at $98.06, down 2 cents from Thursday but up from $97.84 the previous week.