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Summer Spike in Hog Exports Blamed on Unique Circumstances

by 5m Editor
25 November 2003, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1391. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Manitoba Pork Council


Farm-Scape is sponsored by
Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork

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Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council
and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1391

A investigation by the Guelph based George Morris Centre concludes an unprecedented surge in live Canadian hog exports was caused by a unique combination of factors that are unlikely to be repeated.

This summer's spike in the export of live Canadian hogs into the US has caused concern on both sides of the border.

While the Americans have been agitated by the situation, the Canadian industry has been equally alarmed and is looking for ways to slow the trend.

George Morris Centre Senior Market Analyst Kevin Grier says several unusual factors, chief among them a decline in consumer demand for pork due to BSE, contributed to the increase.

"The conclusion was essentially that BSE was a contributing factor to poor packer margins which in turn resulted in less packer demand for hogs which in turn resulted in increased exports to the United States and plant closures in Canada which, again, in turn resulted in increased exports to the United States.

Another component of the surge in exports over the summertime was an increase in cull sow and boar shipments to the United States.

We believe that the appreciation of the exchange rate which resulted in severe revenue losses for producers over the first half of 2003 might have also pushed some producers over the edge and forced some culling of the herd.

The important thing, though, that we wanted to get across is that it was an unusual quarter for Canada.

In other words we wanted to convey to the Americans that this is not something that is going to continue. It was a short term phenomena caused by very specific and short term reasons".

Grier predicts live hog exports will slow as Canada recovers from the impact of BSE and Canadian demand for pork picks up and as Canadian producers adjust to the appreciating exchange rate.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor