US Swine Economics Report

by 5m Editor
3 May 2004, at 12:00am

Regular report by Ron Plain on the US Swine industry, this week reporting that the Canadian hog industry continues to expand.

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Statistics Canada's April 1 inventory report indicates that Canada's first quarter pig crop totaled 8.3142 million head. That is 9.26% larger than a year ago. Statistics Canada is predicting that second quarter farrowings will be up 6.4% compared to April-June 2003.

The Canadian pig crop has been larger than a year ago every quarter since before 1997 when my data series begins. Eight years ago, Canada's first quarter pig crop equaled 19.9% of the U.S. winter pig crop. Four years ago, it equaled 26.0% of the U.S. pig crop. In the January-March 2004 quarter, the Canadian pig crop was 33.4% the size of the December-February 2004 U.S. pig crop.

The Canadians continue to out perform their U.S. counterparts on breeding herd productivity. During the last four quarters, the pig crop per litter has averaged 9.44 in Canada (8.85 in U.S), farrowings per breeding animal have averaged 2.13 in Canada (1.92 in U.S.) and the Canadian pig crop per breeding animal has averaged 20.111 (17.04 in U.S.).

Canadian hog slaughter has not grown as fast as the Canadian hog inventory. Eight years ago, Canada's hog slaughter equaled 16.4% of U.S. commercial hog slaughter. Four years ago, it equaled 20.1% of the U.S. slaughter. In the most recent quarter, the Canadian slaughter was 22.3% the size of the January-March U.S. hog kill. Last year Canada exported nearly 24% of their pig crop to the U.S.

The combined December-February U.S. and January-March Canadian pig crop was 3.75% larger than a year ago. This implies that summer hog slaughter in the U.S. and Canada should be nearly 4% larger than a year ago. Forecasted farrowing intentions imply that fall hog slaughter will be up 1% or so from year ago levels.

5m Editor