June hogs closed moderately higher during yesterday's session, and was able to recover a part of this week's sharp losses. Ideas that the pork product market would rise going into a stronger demand period was felt to have supported the market, with a late-session rally in cattle also adding to the positive tone. Cash markets were lower again yesterday but weaker cash prices and firmer cut-out levels has helped to improve packer margins this week, which are still slightly in the red. Weekly pork production should continue to head lower during the next few months as production seasonally declines during this period of the year, which is the primary reason for the normal premium of June hogs to the cash market. The CME Lean Hog Index as of May 1st came in at 82.25, down 25 cents from the previous session and down from 82.69 the week before. This leaves June at a 267 point premium to the cash market, which is close to a normal level for this time of the year. Hefty average weights, weaker packer margins and sluggish pork demand are all forces which have been seen as negative factors for the hog market. Pork cutout values released after the close yesterday came in at $78.10, down 35 cents from Wednesday but up from $76.75 the previous week. The estimated hog slaughter came in at 409,000 head yesterday. This brings the total for the week so far to 1.639 million head, down from 1.651 million head last week at this time but up from 1.615 million head a year ago.