ShapeShapeauthorShapechevroncrossShapeShapeShapeGrouphamburgerhomeGroupmagnifyShapeShapeShaperssShape

Canadian Hog Statistics - Second Quarter 2009

by 5m Editor
18 August 2009, at 12:00am

Canadian producers had 6.7 cent per fewer pigs on farm on 1 July 2009 than a year previously, and the breeding herd was down 4.6 per cent, according to the latest quarterly report from Statistics Canada. The combination of US COOL regulations and perceptions of the H1N1 virus caused the number of pigs exported from Canada to drop by more than one-third for the first half year of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008.

Highlights

Canadian hog producers had an estimated 12.1 million hogs on their farms, down 6.7 per cent from 1 July 2008. The Canadian breeding herd, mainly sows and gilts, declined 4.6 per cent to almost 1.4 million head during the last year.

During the first two quarters of 2009, hog producers nationally exported an estimated 3.3 million hogs, down 34.6 per cent from same period last year. New Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) regulations in the United States have constrained market access, and the perception of the H1N1 virus has also had a negative impact on markets.

Analysis

Livestock statistics as of 1 July 2009

As of 1 July 2009, the number of hogs on Canadian farms was down from the same date a year earlier.

Table 1. Hog inventories on 1 July (thousand head)
2008 2009
CANADA 12,980 12,105
Atlantic 187 148
Quebec 4,075 3,870
Ontario 3,237 3,101
Manitoba 2,720 2,530
Saskatchewan 971 810
Alberta 1,670 1,530
British Columbia 120 116

Hog inventories still decreasing

Canadian hog producers had an estimated 12.1 million hogs on their farms, down 6.7 per cent from 1 July 2008. Hog inventories have been decreasing since 2006, following a period of investments in more efficient barns in the late 1990s and early years of 2000.


Figure 1. Hog inventory on farm per quarter, Canada, 2000 to 2009

The Canadian breeding herd, mainly sows and gilts, declined 4.6 per cent to almost 1.4 million head during the last year. As sows decrease so do the number of farrowings. Farrowing intentions for the third quarter of 2009 are down 4.1 per cent from the same period last year and are expected to be down 5.5 per cent for the fourth quarter. On 1 June, the US breeding herd has decreased 3.0 per cent from the same date last year.

Prior to the onset of this decline, hog producers had tolerated tough times in the industry while waiting for markets to improve. By 2006, some hog producers began leaving the industry, reflecting a number of factors. These include high feed costs, low commodity prices, a strong Canadian dollar and the economic downturn. The downturn has reduced access to credit for producers and decreased meat demand by consumers. Last year, the Canadian government put a Cull Breeding Swine Program in place to help hog producers reduce the size of their breeding herds. Recently, new Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) regulations in the United States have constrained market access. The perception of the H1N1 virus has also had a negative impact on markets.

Despite hog inventories decreasing since 2006, hog slaughter remains strong in 2009 as more weaners were fed to slaughter weight in Canada rather than being exported to US finishing operations. Domestic slaughter capacity increased, mainly in the Prairies.

During the first two quarters of 2009, hog producers nationally exported an estimated 3.3 million hogs, down 34.6 per cent from same period last year. The bulk of hog exports are market hogs shipped to slaughter and weaner hogs shipped for feeding. In the first and second quarters, hogs exported for slaughter are down 58.5 per cent, and weaner hog exports are down 27.6 per cent from the same period one year ago. Manitoba, the main exporting province, had a 32.4 per cent decrease in exports in the first and second quarters of 2009.


Figure 2. Hog exports, Canada, 2000 to 2009

Revenues from the sale of hogs declined 2.9 per cent in 2008, the fourth consecutive annual decrease. The average annual weighted price in Ontario, a leading hog price indicator in Canada, remained virtually unchanged in 2008 from the previous year. This is a decrease of $29 since its peak of $86 per hundredweight in 1996. Historically, decreases in hog prices were generally recovered within a year or two, even following the price collapse in the fall of 1998. However current hog prices have not recovered since 2005.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.


August 2009