ShapeShapeauthorShapechevroncrossShapeShapeShapeGrouphamburgerhomeGroupmagnifyShapeShapeShaperssShape

Canadian Hog Statistics - First Quarter 2009

by 5m Editor
30 April 2009, at 12:00am

By Statistics Canada. As a result of high feed costs, lowered slaughter prices and the implementation of COOL in the US, there has been some restructuring and closure of farms in Canada.

Highlights

  • On 1 April, farmers in Canada had an estimated 11.9 million hogs on their farms, down 1.1 million or 8.6 per cent from the same date last year. Hog inventories have been declining for the past three years.
  • On 1 April, Canada had 8,300 hog operations; about 1,000 fewer farms than one year ago as several hundred producers took advantage of the federal government’s Cull Breeding Swine Program to dispose of their breeding herd.
  • Hog producers exported an estimated 1.7 million hogs in the last three months, down 42.8 per cent from the peak reached in the first quarter of 2008.
  • High feed costs, soft slaughter prices and the implementation of Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) legislation in the United States have led to farm re-structuring and farm closures in Canada.
  • Despite the large price decrease in coarse grains since July 2008, the feed grain price still remains above the previous five-year average.

Analysis

On 1 April, farmers had an estimated 11.9 million hogs on their farms, down 1.1 million or 8.6 per cent from the same date last year. This is the first time since January 1998 that the hog inventories in Canada are below twelve million.

Hog inventories have been declining for the past three years. High feed costs, soft slaughter prices and the implementation of Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) legislation in the United States have led to farm restructuring and farm closures in Canada. Provinces that relied on exports to the US or that lost slaughter capacity were most affected.

On 1 April, Canada had 8,300 hog operations; about 1,000 fewer farms than one year ago as several hundred producers took advantage of the federal government’s Cull Breeding Swine Program to dispose of their breeding herd. In addition, the domestic slaughter of hogs increased 3.9 per cent compared with the first three months of 2008 as slaughter capacity improved in some regions.

Hog producers exported an estimated 1.7 million hogs in the last three months, down 42.8 per cent from the peak reached in the first quarter of 2008.

The number of sows fell 6.0 per cent from a year ago. Despite variation among provinces the number of sows in the West fell 8.5 per cent and 3.9 per cent in the East. Sows expected to farrow during the second and third quarters 2009 are down 6.6 per cent and 5.6 per cent, respectively, from the same period last year.

In June 2008, corn and barley prices reached historical highs. Despite the large price decrease in coarse grains since July 2008, the feed grain price still remains above the previous five-year average.

Feed costs and slaughter prices continue to squeeze the profit margins of hog farmers. The financial pressure on hog producers can be highlighted by examining the results of a calculation that divides the hog price by a feed cost. The higher the ratio, the better the situation is for hog producers. Recent data show that the Ontario hog-corn ratio increased from 9.6 in 2008 to 13.7 in March 2009. The hog-barley ratio in Alberta increased from 10.0 in 2008 to 17.6 in March 2009. Although there was improvement in these ratios over the past year, they still remain lower than the 10-year average, at 19.8 and 21.2 respectively.

Table 1: Hog inventories on 1 April 2009
Breeding Market hogs Total hogs
2009 2009 to 2008 Under 20 kg 20 kg and over 2009 2009 to 2008
2009 2009 to 2008 2009 2009 to 2008
thousands of head % change thousands of head % change thousands of head % change thousands of head % change
Canada 1,383 -6.2 3,756 -12.1 6,746 -7.0 11,885 -8.6
Atlantic 22 -19.7 53 -32.2 73 -36.5 149 -32.9
Quebec 384 -1.7 1,263 -2.1 2,223 -1.6 3,870 -1.8
Ontario 359 -5.4 976 -9.3 1,641 -13.6 2,976 -11.3
East 765 -4.1 2,292 -6.2 3,938 -7.9 6,995 -6.9
Manitoba 337 -6.3 822 -21.8 1,318 5.6 2,477 -6.9
Saskatchewan 100 -20.6 150 -29.7 510 -23.0 760 -24.2
Alberta 165 -5.6 455 -12.6 920 -8.4 1,540 -9.4
British Columbia 17 -4.0 37 -12.4 60 -3.4 113 -6.6
West 618 -8.7 1,464 -19.9 2,808 -5.7 4,890 -10.8
Note(s): Figures may not add up to totals due to rounding.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

April 2009