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Canadian Breeding Herd Holds Firm (Mar 07)

by 5m Editor
7 March 2007, at 12:00am

By Chris Harris, Senior Editor, ThePigSite. Our snapshot of the ongoing global pig industry trends as reported in March 2007 Whole Hog Brief. To read the full detailed analysis including all the commentary and graphical data, subscribe to the publication.

The Canadian breeding herd showed only a slight rise in numbers compared to the previous quarter according to the figures released by Statistics Canada.

The Whole Hog reports that the data shows the herd stood 0.2 per cent higher than in the previous three months, but down year on year by 1.1 per cent.

The growth in the breeding herd has been put down to strong growth in exports.

However, the Whole Hog says that it has been a difficult year for Canadian producers, but that stronger exports for both pigs and pork offer a brighter 2007 although record rises in the breeding herd are not to be expected.

The total North American herd has risen by one per cent to 7.71 million with the market hog inventory also up one per cent at 68.8 million.

Rapid Response Veterinary Team

The European Commission is to establish a rapid response veterinary team to react to animal disease outbreaks.

The team is made up of animal health experts, who will be available at short notice to assist with major outbreaks of diseases such as bluetongue, avian influenza and foot and mouth disease.

Reported Foot-and-Mouth disease outbreaks, Jul. - Dec 2006

Global pig prices have started to falter following their constant rise since June last year.

After nine months of continual growth, the latest week on week growth recorded is just 0.1 per cent.

There is now growing concern that feed costs are going to start to impact on production across the major producing nations.

The latest figures for the UK breeding herd have shown a drop of 0.3 per cent to 468,000. These figures to June 2006 are up on the provisional figures for December 2006, and the trend is that the UK herd is in long term decline.

The Whole Hog says that the industry's admission that it should aim for the premium market segment, is an admission that the UK is not a global player but one that should see a niche market.

Meanwhile, the Whole Hog reports that EU producer prices have fallen sharply in February, continuing the downward trend first seen in December last year.

US Meat Production to Fall

In the USDA projection for agriculture to 2016, production of all meats is forecast to slow down as more feed corn is directed towards the production of ethanol.

US pork consumption is also expected to fall up to 2011 and livestock prices are expected to rise in the short term as feed prices also rise.

In 2006 US pork exports hit record highs reaching 1,195,534 tonnes - 9.6 per cent above 2005.

During December US pork imports fell by four per cent from November and 18 per cent from December 2005.

Australian pig meat imports and exports have continued to grow.

The Whole Hog reports a 4.6 per cent increase in exports in December compared to December 2005 although the figure of 3,763 tonnes was down on the November figures by 14.6 per cent.

In the same month, Australia imported 9,664 tonnes - 7.2 per cent up on November.

Japanese pig meat imports fell year on year despite a slight rise in November from October.

There was a significant rise in imports from the US - 18.9 per cent in November compared to October.

Imports into South Korea continue to hit record highs. During December they reached 30,371 tonnes 1.9 per cent up on the previous month and 24.2 per cent up year on year.