February hogs closed moderately higher on the session yesterday, as the rally in other commodity markets along with ideas that cash hogs are about to bottom and hog weights are about to peak were the main supportive factors for prices. A negative tilt to outside market forces, talk of inflation fighting in China, and the potential for some slowdown with quantitative easing expectations in the US if today's PPI number is stronger than expected were all seen as negative factors coming into today's session. Some traders last week had been thinking that cash hogs could be steady to firm early this week, but cash prices have come in lower at some locations, and this helped to increase the pressure on the market. The CME Lean Hog Index as of November 11th came in at 63.59, up 49 cents from the previous session and up from 61.94 the week before. This leaves December at a large premium to the cash market. The estimated hog slaughter came in at 424,000 head yesterday. This was down from 426,000 head last week and down from 431,000 head a year ago as this time. Pork cutout values, released after the close yesterday, came in at $77.10, up 32 cents from Friday and up from $76.22 the previous week.
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