December hogs closed sharply lower on the session yesterday, sliding down to the lowest close since November 9th. The market has fallen as much as 205 points from Monday's highs due to sluggish action with cash market fundamentals. The hog market saw choppy to lower trade early yesterday, as outside market forces were considered weak while the market was already absorbing a sharp break in cash bellies prices from Tuesday. Pork values were down sharply late Tuesday led by weakness in bellies and loins, which many traders saw as pressuring the cash hog market again yesterday. With negative sentiment from outside markets and the US Dollar rising to the highest level since October 10th, the market received further pressure during the overnight session. Cash markets have been declining this week but appear to be mostly steady today, and pork cut-out values also appear to be stabilizing. The market is projected to see several more weeks of hefty slaughter before beginning a seasonal decline through February. Weekly average weights for Iowa-Southern Minnesota as of November 12th came in at 274.5 pounds, down from 274.7 pounds the previous week and down from 275.4 pounds last year. Pork cutout values released after the close yesterday came in at $88.75, up 8 cents from Tuesday but down from $90.43 the previous week. Weighted average cash prices for Iowa/Minnesota direct hogs are at 81.21, up 20 cents on the session. The CME Lean Hog Index as of November 14th came in at 85.71, down 58 cents from the previous session and down from 89.12 the week before. The estimated hog slaughter came in at 431,000 head yesterday. This brings the total for the week so far to 1.293 million head, up from 1.291 million head last week at this time and up from 1.276 million head a year ago.
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