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Canadian Herd Drops as Prices Plummet (Nov 07)

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

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

As prices plummet, the Canadian pig breeding herd has fallen sharply according to reports in The Whole Hog.

Sows and bred gilt numbers fell by 1.4 per cent year on year to October 2007 to 1.527 million head.

Breeding boar numbers fell by three per cent to 32,600 head. Whole Hog says that farmers reported 14.4 million hogs on their farms on 1 October.

Top Producers

Smithfield Foods heads the list of the top pork producers in North America. The Whole Hog reporting on the Successful Farming Pork Powerhouses shows Smithfield with 1 million sows and the next largest producer Triumph Foods with 403,700 sows.

The top 10 producers control 40 per cent of the market.

There are dark nights ahead for pig producers according to The Whole Hog.

The global pig price downturn started in June and The Whole Hog reports that the shift in prices has been gaining strength through the summer. However, it adds that a shakeout amongst pig suppliers and a realignment of supply will cure the industry's ills.

Effect of Feed Prices

Meanwhile the soaring feed prices are reported to be causing heavy losses for producers in Denmark.

Feed prices have doubled over the last few months, but pig prices have remained stable.

Nicolaj Norgaard the deputy director of the Danish Pig Production group told the Whole Hog: I fear that the situation may tempt many producers to leave the industry."

Danish pig price, 2001-2007

Meanwhile, the action taken by the EU in introducing Aid to Private storage has helped to stabilise the industry.

Across the EU, pig producers continue to receive lower prices than in 2006 - a trend that the Whole Hog has been reporting all year.

Exports for Canada, however have started to slowly recover, although they are still below 2006 levels. While exports to the end of August had fallen by 3.6 per cent compared to a year ago, the Whole Hog reports that Canada has managed to boost sales to New Zealand and Australia.

US exports during August rose by 6.9 per cent over the previous month and by 10 per cent year on year. Fresh chilled exports were notably up, according to the Whole Hog, by 7.5 per cent.

At the same time, Japanese import rose during July by 3.7 per cent and by nearly 17 per cent year on year.

South Korean imports also rose by 3.8 per cent during August and by more than 15 per cent over the year.

While Australia was seeing a rise in imports from Canada, it has also launched an inquiry into the impact of imports on the domestic pig meat industry.

November 2007