April hogs have closed lower for four of the past five trading sessions. Ideas that cash prices will struggle to hold their recent uptrend if South Korea is close to filling their short-term import needs was seen as a key negative factor for the market. Weakness in cattle and a slight decline in pork cut-out values late Monday were also seen as pressuring the market. Cash hogs were steady but the large premium of futures to the cash market was seen as a potentially negative force. The CME Lean Hog Index as of February 25th came in at 83.91, up 31 cents from the previous session and up from 83.24 the week before. The estimated hog slaughter came in at 425,000 head yesterday which was a little higher than expected and might be considered somewhat supportive. This brings the total for the week so far to 840,000 head, up from 816,000 head last week at this time but down from 859,000 head a year ago. Pork cutout values released after the close yesterday came in at $91.60, down 36 cents from Monday and down from $91.78 the previous week.
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