August hogs closed moderately higher for the session yesterday, and rose to push to the highest level since April 6th. The market went through a period of choppy to lower trading early in the session but managed to take out Wednesday's highs and recovered into positive territory by mid-session. Hog futures continue to find strength from supportive cash market news and from the pork cut-out market. Pork cutout values released after the close yesterday came in at $104.18, up $1.84 from Wednesday and up from $99.73 the previous week. This is another new all-time high and the jump in values is widely expected to support improving packer profit margins into next week. In addition, some traders feel this suggests more aggressive bidding up in the cash market next week as well. Cash bellies jumped $9.84 to $148.40. The CME Lean Hog Index as of July 26th came in at 99.33, up 66 cents from the previous session and up from 95.37 the week before. The estimated hog slaughter came in at 404,000 head yesterday. This brings the total for the week so far to 1.610 million head, down from 1.634 million head last week at this time but up from 1.564 million head a year ago. Actual US pork production for the week ending July 16th came in at 410.2 million pounds, up from 351.6 the previous week and up 1.74% from a year ago. China has issued new measures to help fight inflation focused on pork production and pork storage in hopes of stabilizing pork prices and inflation. Local governments in China are urged to increase their reserves of pork to near a 10-day supply.