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Industry Unveils Proposal to Maintain Pig Production

by 5m Editor
27 July 2009, at 12:42pm

CANADA - Figures from the OECD suggest that Canada will account for 21 per cent of global pigmeat trade in 2009, writes Peter Duggan, Strategic Information Services, Bord Bia.


Canadian pigmeat self-sufficiency as a percentage
Image source: OECD

Canada’s reliance on pigmeat exports is derived from the fact that they are 245 per cent self sufficient in pigmeat production. This self sufficiency is projected by the OECD to increase to around 262 per cent by 2018.

The most recent figures from Statistics Canada show that pigmeat exports were relatively stable at 353,000 tonnes for the first four months of 2009. The principal destinations were the US and Japan, which accounted for 106,000 tonnes and 77,000 tonnes, respectively. Although, pigmeat exports to Russia fell by a quarter, they are expected to recover for the remainder of the year as Russian authorities have lifted the H1N1 related restrictions on imports of pigmeat from the Ontario region of Canada.

The pigmeat sector has faced considerable price pressure since the emergence of H1N1 influenza with prices currently $20-30 per head below production costs. This has led to a proposal from the Canadian Pork Council (CPC) to invest $800 million into the Canadian pigmeat industry in order to stabilise the situation. Under the proposal producers will receive a once off payment of $500 per sow culled, plus the market value of the animal if they decide to exit hog production. Recognising the sharp fall in pig prices it is also proposed to pay hog producers $30 a hog that will have be repaid in 10-15 years. This will become effective from the 2nd quarter of 2009 until prices return to pre H1N1 prices.

Another initiative been deployed by Canada’s government to help stimulate the pigmeat industry is the $20 million investment in the strengthening of the traceability system, with the possibility that new markets opening as a result.