April hogs closed sharply higher on the session yesterday, ending up with the highest close since December 28th. Ideas that the supply will tighten into the spring helped to support the market even with the negative impact from outside market forces. A surge up in cash belly prices plus a further advance in loin values helped to support solid gains for pork values yesterday, and contributed to another new high for the move for hog futures. Pork cutout values, released after the close yesterday came in at $85.15, up $1.24 from Monday and up from $84.73 the previous week. Warmer Midwest weather plus a cutback in slaughter levels could set the stage for higher than expected pork production in the weeks just ahead. Many traders will monitor average weekly weight data for release today to see if weights are under control or if some market-ready hogs might be backing up in the country. The CME Lean Hog Index as of January 27th came in at 87.71, up 36 cents from the previous session and up from 85.39 the week before. This leaves April hogs at a premium of just 115 points as compared with the 5-year average near 600 points and last year when the April futures trading at a 1200 point premium. The estimated hog slaughter came in at 417,000 head yesterday. This brings the total for the week so far to 817,000 head, down from 854,000 head last week at this time but up from 754,000 head a year ago.