USA a Key Export Market for Ontario Pork

GUELPH - The USA has become a key market for Ontario slaughter hogs with between 15,000 and 20,000 hogs crossing the border each week; ..
calendar icon 3 December 2003
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..this is a dramatic increase from last fall when approximately 2,000 - 3,000 hogs per week were sold to US plants.

The table below illustrates how important the US has become as an export market.

A number of factors have contributed to the increased export volume. First of all, Ontario hog supplies have continued to run well above last year's levels. Unlike previous years, however, the increase in hog supplies has not been matched by an increase in processing capacity.

In fact, the closure of West Perth Packers and the loss of some other small packing plants have tightened capacity. Secondly, the traditional strength in the Quebec hog market has not been there this year. As a result a major contract expired and was renewed for a lower amount at a lower price.

In general US plants prefer hogs that are slightly heavier than those shipped to Canadian packers. As a result, producers who ship their hogs on the Pool or Pool Plus program should try to ship them between 245 lbs and 265 lbs (111 to 120 kgs) live weight in Ontario.

Source: By Patrick O'Neil, Sales Team Manager, Ontario Pork, December 2003

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