BSE and Avian Flu Create Turmoil in Pork Markets

by 5m Editor
24 February 2004, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1453. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

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Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork

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Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council
and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1453

The SPI Marketing Group says BSE and Avian flu are creating turmoil within domestic and export markets for Canadian pork.

Hog prices in North America in February have been stronger than many had predicted but they could decline over the next month or so if pork is forced to compete with higher stocks of North American beef and poultry.

SPI General Manager Don Hrapchak says a range of factors, some positive and some negative, are influencing the market for Canadian pork.

He says one thing producers can do on the revenue side to extract more money from the market is to ship a higher proportion of animals within the core weight range.

"With the BSE problems for beef, the Japanese are not importing any North American beef and are having to shift from beef consumption to pork consumption.

Those are directly a result from the Avian flu problems in Asia and the lack of beef that the Japanese would normally get from the American beef and Canadian beef producers.

The Japanese are switching to Canadian and North American pork protein to fill the void which is having a positive effect on the Canadian and US prices.

That being said, we also have problems in North America with poultry diseases that are not as severe as what we have in Asia.

However, there might be trade embargoes on US poultry and Canadian poultry. That's causing a situation where this extra protein, which would normally be exported, will stay in North America to compete with pork products.

You also have a situation where beef will become a little bit more plentiful in the United States, again for the same reason, because they haven't been able to export it".

Hrapchak says, while the Canadian poultry industry is an insignificant player on the export front, the US is a major poultry exporter so any disruption in the movement of US poultry could have a major impact on the movement of pork.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor