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Pork Commentary: Manitoba Swine Seminar Report

11 February 2016
Jim Long on ThePigSite

Jim Long is President &
CEO of Genesus Genetics.

CANADA - This past week we attended the Manitoba Swine Seminar held in Winnipeg Manitoba, writes Jim Long President – CEO Genesus Inc.

Our Observations

  • Manitoba is a Province in Central Canada that has approximately 300,000 sows.
  • The Manitoba Swine Seminar is a two-day event, which focuses on a lineup of speakers on different topics for the swine industry. This year’s event was well organised and attended with about 500 registrants.
  • Genesus was the sponsor of the official Hospitality Reception that was attended by several hundred people. Maple Leaf Foods with Canada’s largest packer plant was sponsor of the luncheons.
  • Manitoba for the last several years has had a government moratorium preventing the construction of new swine barns. This was allegedly for environmental reasons but for all intents and purposes, it was a political position to pander to the urban area of the province. Any visitor who visits Manitoba and sees the vast amounts of farmland just laughs when they hear there is an environmental issue.
  • Recently the Provincial Government has decided there are some areas of the province where new barns can be built. At the seminar, we heard of some new barns being contemplated. The cost of a new finishing barn is quite expensive at about $350 US per pig space.
  • One factor that could diminish the desire to build new finishing spaces is the combination of the Canadian dollar compared to the US dollar and the ending of Country of Origin Labeling. The Canadian dollar now is about 72¢ to the US dollar. Two years ago, it was about par. With the Canadian Hog Price driven by the US market the change of exchange rate is currently adding nearly $50 Canadian to a Canadian Market Hog. The difference is huge. Canadian producers are making about $15 per head today, while American producers are losing money. The producers at the swine seminar were relatively positive but it would have been a different world if there had not been a Canadian currency devaluation.
  • The end of US Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) is also a positive with Canadian pigs now not being discounted due to COOL legislation encumbrances with the high cost of new finishing barns in Manitoba and the ability now of Canadian producers to send small pigs (early wean-feeder pigs) to the US market at no discount, we got the sense at the Manitoba Seminar that the choice of many will be to send small pigs to the US at a non-basis discount.
  • Manitoba has four large producers – HyLife, Maple Leaf, Pro Vista, and Progressive Group; combined they have just over 200,000 sows or 66% plus of production. All four groups continue to grow.
  • Independent producers are mainly land based grain growing farrow to finish and most are very productive and cost efficient.
  • Year to date Canadian Small Pigs to USA are up 16.2% and Market Hogs up 8.8%. We expect a continued increase as the year continues.


  • US Market Hogs continue to recover, reaching 64¢ per pound lean, which is up 10¢ a pound from a month ago. A year ago, lean hogs were 67¢ per pound.
  • A positive is a continued move to lower slaughter weights; a year ago, US carcasses were 217.35 pounds while currently market hog carcasses are 213 pounds. A reflection in our opinion of a current if not pulled ahead market hog inventory.
  • Last week US hog marketings were 2.182 million a year ago 2.259 million. The first time in many months weekly marketings were lower than the year before. To be fair last week’s marketings were lowered by a winter storm.
  • USDA pork cutouts at 77.57¢ a pound still remain strong and as weekly hog marketings decline, we expect further strengthening of the lean hog price.
  • DTN-AgDayta Livestock Margin indicates you can pay $72.27 US for a 45-pound feeder pig. June delivery. US cash feeder pigs averaged $76.53 last week. A true reflection of supply and demand. Many major production systems are in the market buying small pigs to fill production gaps due to PED, PRRS, and AI Extender issues.


Hog markets have gained some strength adding $20 per head over the last four weeks. June lean hogs are 80¢ plus a pound; we expect to see continued strength and summer markets reaching 90¢ lean per pound.


Author: Jim Long, President & CEO, Genesus Genetics

To find out more about Genesus Genetics,
please take the time to visit their website at

The opinions expressed in this commentary are entirely those of the author and can not taken to represent the views of, its owners or its management.

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