Stats Can Figures Show Canadian Swine Producers Response to Market Conditions

by 5m Editor
1 November 2004, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1634. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1634

The Canadian Pork Council says the latest figures released by Statistics Canada clearly indicate the Canadian swine industry is operating in accordance with market conditions.

Ongoing expansion of the Canadian breeding herd coupled with a surge in slaughter hog exports in 2003, has generated concern within the US industry resulting in antidumping duties being applied to imported live Canadian hogs.

Figures released last week by Statistics Canada show total numbers of pigs on farm in Canada are up marginally by 0.4 percent while the breeding herd increased by 1.6 percent.

CPC Executive Director Martin Rice says the Canadian herd is actually expanding a slower rate than the US herd.

"These numbers suggest to us that the Canadian industry is very much responding to market signals despite allegations that Canadian producers don't respond to the market place. We are, I think, seeing the impacts of the strengthening Canadian dollar.

We have been saying for some time now that will make the economics of hog production in Canada less favorable vis-a-vis the US than was the case in years when our dollar was at a lot lower rate compared to the US dollar.

In fact, with this survey, we're seeing the Canadian industry expanding by less than is the case in the US.

The US hog numbers as of September 1 were up by 0.9 percent and the breeding herd actually was also up and that's a bigger increase than the increase in the Canadian population.

These numbers bear out our contention that the Canadian industry is very much responding to market signals."

Rice stresses the dramatic increase in Canadian slaughter hog exports in 2003 was an abnormal occurrence caused by Canadian pork processing plants cutting back their kills or closing in response to decreased marketing opportunities resulting from increased beef consumption due to BSE.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor