CME lean hogs ended mixed, as stabilizing cash prices along with higher pork prices helped support the front end of the market, analysts said.
Back months retreated as the price of corn dropped, which could encourage more future hog production.
Views differ on exports, which have driven the market this year. Some traders say the USDA signaled export demand is weakening in a Monday report, while others say China will remain a key buyer, supporting prices.
Zuzolo said the USDA's export projections "cut out bullish fervor regarding China." Still, he added that "the economics suggest that China can't wait to replenish their hog herd."
Zuzolo said that without the bullish sentiment about China exports, lean hogs are more reliant on gains in the cattle complex for support.
CME October lean hogs ended up 0.475c, or 0.5%, to 87.150 a pound, while 2012 contracts ended lower.
Cash hog bids were reported mainly steady on buying interest from some plants for deliveries later in the week. Processors are expanding their weekly slaughter schedules in line with seasonal growth in supplies.
Early projections for Saturday's slaughter range from 125,000 to 150,000 head, but the estimates are subject to change as the week progresses. The week's total may reach from 2.25 million to 2.27 million head, compared with 2.17 million a year ago.
The latest Dow Jones Newswires pork packer margin index was plus $14.32 per head, compared with plus $16.92 the previous day.
The terminal markets traded mostly steady, with one location $1 higher. Top prices ranged from $52 to $62 a hundred pounds on a live basis.
The USDA's pork carcass composite value, a measure of wholesale prices, on Monday was up 5 cents at $94.28 a hundred pounds.