U.S Pork Exports Expected to Rise While Canadian Exports Decline

CANADA - A market analyst with Rabobank predicts continued growth in U.S. pork exports during 2007 while Canadian exports decline, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 16 March 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

The past decade has seen increased pork exports from both Canada and the U.S. with the U.S. recording 17 or 18 years of continued record export growth.

Rabobank International executive director of food and agribusiness research Fiona Boal notes Canadian exports were down in 2006 and most experts predict further declines this year where as U.S. exports are expected again to reach record levels.

Fiona Boal-Rabobank International

Definitely, when you look at competitiveness in the hog industry, one of the first things you talk about is feed costs.

With plus four dollar corn in the U.S. the cost of raising hogs will rise.

Fortunately so far we've seen that the market has been able to take up a lot of that cost in the form of some relatively strong prices.

Canada will also have to deal with higher costs of feed and that will impact how competitive both countries are in the export market.

I like to really think that we have a clear picture of that yet this year.

I think it will take a couple of months.

We need to get the first few months of export figures to really get a feel for how much that increased cost of production is hurting both countries.

When you think about the countries globally that can supply these international markets there really aren't too many at the moment.

We're talking about the U.S., Canada, obviously Brazil and obviously Denmark so there are definitely still opportunities for both Canada and the U.S. in key export markets and when I talk about key export markets I'm talking primarily about the Asian markets but also some secondary markets which have proved very important being Mexico and even Australia.

Boal expects a further drop in Canadian exports as the Canadian industry tries to work through its current difficulties although she still believes Canada has a strong competitive advantage in producing pork as does the U.S.

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