June hogs closed 127 lower on the session Friday, and finished with a daily loss for the 7th session in a row as well as 482 lower for the week. June hogs traded slightly lower early in the session, with active fund selling pressuring the market sharply lower on the session into midday. June hogs were down as much as 822 points below their April 20th peak, with the market just a few points above the March lows and close to the lowest price levels since mid-January. After closing lower for seven sessions in a row, some traders feel the market may have "priced-in" the weak action of cash bellies recently as the market now faces declining supply as well as seasonally stronger demand just ahead. The CME Lean Hog Index for the two days ending April 27th is 94.04, which leaves June hogs at a slight premium to the cash market. Pork cutout values released after the close Friday came in at $93.31, up $1.55 from Thursday but down from $95.14 the previous week. The market will need to process any backlog of hogs from the country, and may need some time in order to see lighter weights ahead and ease the production outlook. A sharp break in pork belly prices during the past two weeks was seen as pressuring pork cut-out values and dragging down the cash market. Cash markets were expected to trade steady to $0.50 higher on the session Friday but traded steady to $1.00 lower, which was seen as adding to the negative tone for the market. The estimated hog slaughter came in at 397,000 head Friday and 50,000 head for Saturday. This brought the total for last week to 1.950 million head, down from 2.056 million head the previous week and down from 2.022 million head a year ago.
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