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Canadian Herd Downturn Levels Off for Now (Sep 07)

by 5m Editor
5 September 2007, at 12:00am

By Chris Harris, Senior Editor, ThePigSite. Our snapshot of the ongoing global pig industry trends as reported in September 2007 Whole Hog Brief. To read the full detailed analysis including all the commentary and graphical data, subscribe to the publication.

The downturn in the Canadian breeding herd and inventories for hogs fell slightly during the second quarter of 2006 according to Statistics Canada.

The Whole Hog reports that sows and gilts numbers fell by 0.9 per cent year on year.

A sustained period of low prices together with rising feed costs and disease problems in Ontario and Quebec have put an end to the rise in the Canadian pig industry, the Whole Hog says.

It adds that if it was not for the outlet of the US for live exports the Canadian industry could be facing very hard times.

PRRS in Asia

An outbreak of PRRS is hitting live hog prices and there are concerns that the disease will spread in the live hog trade.

The mortality rate has reached between 10 and 15 per cent - normal for South East Asia but the effect of the disease together with rising feed costs is having an effect on live hog prices in China.

Global pig prices started to fall last month and they have continued to fall.

The Whole Hog says that there are mixed messages coming out of North America about the way producers are reacting to rising feed costs.

But it adds that the main unknown factor to impact on world prices will be the disease factor in China. The main hope, the Whole Hog says, is if China starts importing cuts in large enough quantities to turn things around.

Live hog prices in China 2005-07

Effect of New EU States

The Whole Hog says that the new EU states will be the driving force behind increased pig meat production and consumption.

However, the other impact of the accession will be a reduction in export markets outside the EU.

The Barbecue season the Europe, however, has failed to ignite prices in Europe. In the leading EU pig producing states average producer prices were almost all below the average prices for the same period last year.

Canadian Exports Down

Statistics Canada show that Canadian pork exports fell by 5.1 per cent in June compared to the same time last year.

However live hog exports to the US have continued to grow, with gilt and sow exports rising by 17.5 per cent.

Joint figures for North America have shown a surge in numbers in the breeding herd.

However US pork exports in June fell by 5.5 per cent from May , while Japanese imports rose during May by 21.9 per cent on April figures and 6.4 per cent on May last year. The main imports were from the US which rose by 11.5 per cent over the previous month.

South Korean imports, however, took a downward turn, according to The Whole Hog, falling by 11.3 per cent in June and in Australia imports are continuing to rise while exports are falling.

September 2007