June hogs closed slightly higher on the session yesterday, as prices stayed within a relatively tight trading range. Outside market forces were seen as negative, but the cash fundamental news was supportive. A surge to all-time highs in the pork cutout this week was offset by a negative tone for commodity markets in general along with a sharp break in cattle. The surge in ribs and product prices in general could boost packer profit margins and support higher cash trade ahead. Many traders see cash hogs trading steady today, but also feel that poor demand weather and a sharp break in cattle may be reason to suspect that the market will struggle to overcome negative outside market forces. Pork cutout values released after the close yesterday came in at $97.02, down $1.29 from Monday but up from $91.80 the previous week. This was a significant setback in product prices and sparked selling pressure overnight, but it was also the second highest pork cutout trade on record. The CME Lean Hog Index as of May 13th came in at 92.54, up 45 cents from the previous session and up from 92.05 the week before. The estimated hog slaughter came in at 410,000 head yesterday. This brings the total for the week so far to 803,000 head, up from 778,000 head last week at this time and up from 795,000 head a year ago. Slaughter is expected to begin to decline seasonally over the next few months, and this may provide some underlying support. Given seasonal trends, weekly pork production for the next three months should see a range of roughly 350 to 406 million pound, compared with the range for the first four months of the year of 421 to 455 million pounds.