Sask Pork Predicts Continued Slow Growth of Canadian Breeding Herd

by 5m Editor
23 August 2004, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1585. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1585

Sask Pork predicts growth of the Canadian breeding herd will continue to decline until Canadian producers become more confident in the strength of the hog market.

Figures released last week by Statistics Canada show the Canadian breeding inventory of sows and bred gilts expanded by 2.77 percent from July 2003 to July 2004, the smallest increase in four years, while Western Canada's breeding herd expanded by 3.37 per cent.

Sask Pork Industry and Policy Analyst Brad Marceniuk blames the slower growth on a combination of factors.

"We have seen little growth in hog production over the last two years due to low global pork prices in 2002 and 2003, high feed prices in Western Canada due to the drought conditions in 2002 and 2003, and several trade concerns over the last two years.

Before we see any strong expansion growth in Western Canada producers will need to see more slaughter capacity in Western Canada and hog prices will need to continue to be profitable for producers to rebuild their equity positions.

In 2003 Western Canada only slaughtered about 66 per cent of the hogs that were marketed, while we exported about 2.8 million live weanling and feeder pigs and we exported 1.66 million live slaughter weight hogs.

Producers are concerned about the current trade situation and will need some market assurances before any major new expansion will happen."

Marceniuk says major factors that will influence prices this fall include slaughter numbers in the United States, global demand for meat, the beef situation in North America and global demand for pork.

He blames a drop in cash and nearby futures prices over the past week on seasonal changes in demand and predicts Saskatchewan live hog prices will range from 160 dollars down to 150 dollars per hundred kilograms for September, falling to a range of 150 to 135 dollars in December.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor