Hog Industry growth stabilizes

by 5m Editor
16 February 2007, at 5:17pm

CANADA - Canadian hog inventories as of January 1, 2007 were down compared with the same period a year earlier but up slightly from October 1, 2006, as international exports surged.

This marked the first quarterly inventory increase after farmers previously reported declines for five consecutive quarters, which reflected weaker slaughter prices in 2006. According to the 2007 January Livestock Survey, there were 14.3 million hogs on farms as of January 1, 2007, 2.7% below the same date last year while up marginally from October 1, 2006.

Farmers exported hogs to other countries at a record pace — 6.4 million hogs during the first nine months of 2006. This surpassed the previous record established in 2004. Overall, three out of five exported animals were younger hogs, called weaners, for feeding in the United States. As feeding costs are increasing, the weaner export market remains attractive to Canadian farrowing producers.

Hog slaughter prices weakened in the fall of 2005 and have remained relatively low since. During the first nine months of 2006, the average price for hogs was 14.2% lower than the same period in 2005. Lower prices led to a 15.3% drop in hog farm cash receipts during the first nine months of 2006.

Domestic slaughter has continued to decline after reaching a record high in 2004, mainly because of lower prices paid to producers and higher feeding costs. Hog slaughter dropped 2.4% between 2005 and 2006.

ThePigSite News Desk

5m Editor