April hogs closed slightly lower on the session yesterday after trading higher early, as outside market forces shifted to a more negative outlook. Many traders are waiting for signs of better export levels, which should show up in the pork cut-out trade. Pork cutout values released after the close yesterday came in at $85.05, down 13 cents from Tuesday and down from $85.27 the previous week. Average weights for Iowa/Southern Minnesota for the week ending February 4th came in at 275.4 pounds which was down from 275.5 pounds the previous week but still up sharply from 273.8 pounds last year. Mild weather has been widely thought to be keeping weights at higher than normal levels for this time of the year. The CME Lean Hog Index as of February 6th came in at 87.71, down 15 cents from the previous session and down from 87.78 the week before. This leaves April hogs at a premium of just 125 points as compared with the 5-year average of near 500 points and nearly 1000 points last year. The estimated hog slaughter came in at 421,000 head yesterday. This brings the total for the week so far to 1.261 million head, up from 1.234 million head last week at this time and up from 1.245 million head a year ago. Many traders forecast slaughter levels on Saturday to be near 50,000 head, as compared with 87,000 head last week as packer demand is sluggish due to weak margins.