Lean hog futures posted $2.50 to limit gains on Thursday, with nearby Aug up 17.5 cents as the exception to the rule. Preliminary open interest dropped 5,275 contracts, confirming short covering ahead of the USDA reports. The CME Lean Hog Index was down $1.47 on August 7, to $63.17. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was up 48 cents from the previous day at $71.45 on Thursday afternoon. The picnic, rib, and belly primal cuts were all reported lower. The national base hog carcass value was down $1.76, with the weighted average @$45.93. USDA estimated Week to Date FI hog slaughter at 1.772 million head through Thursday. That is down 21,000 head from last week due to plant downtime but 47,000 head above the same week last year. Pork export sales during the week that ended on August 2 were 24,871 MT. Exports were a MY low of 13,585 MT.