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CPC Insists Requested Loans are Trade Friendly

by 5m Editor
29 July 2009, at 11:15am

CANADA - The Canadian Pork Council insists a program of government loans requested by the Canadian hog industry is compliant with international and North American trading agreements and trade friendly, writes Bruce Cochrane.

A proposed Canadian hog industry restructuring plan calls for a combination of loans and the establishment of a hog farm transition payment on a per sow basis to allow those producers who wish to exist the industry to do so.

Last week the US-based National Pork Producers Council expressed concern that the proposal will artificially prop up Canadian pork production and shift the financial pain to US producers.

CPC chair Jurgen Preugschas says Canadian pig prices have been, in large part, artificially depressed by such things as US Country of Origin Labelling.

Jurgen Preugschas-Canadian Pork Council

What we're talking about here are virtually commercial loans, interest bearing loans and as most countries do including the US just announced another 760 million dollars of loans to their farmers which I'm guessing is trade friendly, the Brazilians announced four billion dollars in loans to their livestock producers so a small loan to our Canadian producers we feel is totally and completely trade friendly.

What we do need I think is a reduction in the poundage of pork produced in North America.

Canada has done their part, the Americans haven't.

Where we have dropped some 17 per cent of our sow herd over the last three years, in the US there's virtually no change.

Until that changes our North American and Canadian hog producers are going to continue to lose money.

Mr Preugschas notes stocks of pork meat are up significantly in the US which is an indication of over production.

He says Canada has reacted to market signals, the US hasn't.