COOL Predicted to Devastate North American Hog Prices

CANADA - The Canadian Pork Council says 'country of origin labelling' has the potential to devastate North American live hog prices.
calendar icon 15 May 2003
clock icon 3 minute read
Manitoba Pork Council

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Farm-Scape, Episode 1242

A study conducted by the George Morris Centre and Virginia Tech University identified over one thousand American hog producers that rely on Canadian weanling pigs.

The study suggests COOL, as it currently stands, would disadvantage those producers to the point where they would have to cease buying Canadian pigs.

Canadian Pork Council Executive Director Martin Rice says that would force producers on both sides of the border to scramble to fill the void.

"If country of origin labelling does indeed lead to no more Canadian feeder pigs going down to the US, you'd have to find a means of feeding these Canadian feeder pigs because the sows and weaners are there so we'd see a tremendous pressure to increase feeding capacity in Canada.

Meanwhile in the US, because of the absence of piglets coming into finishing enterprises and four million less pigs a year going into US packing plants, you would see pressure to replace the sow and weaner production capacity to make up for the loss of the Canadian weaner pigs. When taken together, you'd have potentially an enormous increase in supply of pigs in North America, Canada and the US taken together.

That would sort itself over time, after a couple of years, but we'd go through market circumstances which would rival those of the disaster we had in 1998."

The George Morris-Virginia Tech study predicts the six million Canadian pigs that stop going south will eventually end up being produced in the US but Canadian production will only fall by about two million...resulting in a net four million head increase across North America.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
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