December hogs closed sharply higher on the session yesterday, and rose to the highest price levels since November 2nd. Most agricultural futures were under heavy selling pressures but the lack of a futures premium for February hogs and ideas that the cash market is close to a seasonal low were widely thought to have supported the market. Expectations that the market will see a seasonal low soon for the cash markets helped a rebound in hogs during recent days Pork cut-out values appear to be stabilizing but pushed lower again yesterday to their lowest level since June. Pork exports to China for September during the last reporting period hit a record monthly high and many traders will continue to monitor pork values for signs of a slow turn higher if exports stay firm. The CME Lean Hog Index as of November 15th came in at 84.92, down 79 cents from the previous session and down from 88.51 the week before. The estimated hog slaughter came in at 429,000 head yesterday. This brings the total for the week so far to 1.717 million head, down from 1.720 million head last week at this time but up from 1.700 million head a year ago. Pork cutout values, released after the close yesterday came in at $88.43 down 32 cents from Wednesday and down from $90.80 the previous week.
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