February hogs were able to recover from new lows for the move as a bounce in pork cut-out values late Monday was thought to have supported solid gains for the day. A weakening price trend in China as well as ideas that China may have slowed imports of US pork may be helping to hold February hogs at a smaller than normal premium to the cash market. Packer margins are still in the black but down from last week's levels although there are ideas that packers have been getting the hogs they need for slaughter this week. A recovery in pork cut-out values late Monday and better price action in corn may have helped to ease fears liquidation fears in the market. Pork cutout values released after the close yesterday came in at $89.58, up 65 cents from Monday but down from $90.31 the previous week. The CME Lean Hog Index as of December 2nd came in at 86.22, down 10 cents from the previous session but up from 83.82 the week before. The estimated hog slaughter came in at 430,000 head yesterday. This brings the total for the week so far to 861,000 head, unchanged from last week at this time but up from 850,000 head a year ago.
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