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Decline Seen in this Year's Canadian Pork Exports

by 5m Editor
12 June 2008, at 11:04am

CANADA - Canada's pork product exports are expected to go down this year as compared to last year, while Canadian weanling and feeder pig purchases go up.

"We've seen a pretty good pace to shipments of fresh, chilled and frozen pork to all destinations during the first quarter of 2008, but that is not going to last," said Martin Rice, the Canadian Pork Council's executive director.

According to CountryGuide, he also mentioned that sales of Canadian pork to the end of March 2008 totalled 261,000 tonnes, up about two per cent from 256,000 during the same time frame in 2007.

"I don't think the pace that we have seen during the first quarter will continue through the remainder of the year, as there will be fewer hogs to slaughter and the amount of weanling and feeder pig shipments to the U.S. continues to grow," Rice said, noting the economics of finishing pigs in Canada are no longer feasible.

Canadian exports of fresh, chilled and frozen pork to all destinations during 2008 were forecast by Rice to be down five per cent to around 950,000 tonnes, compared to 997,000 during 2007.

Of the fresh, chilled and frozen pork sold by Canada during 2007, the U.S. was the main buyer, Rice said. Hong Kong, China, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan were also key recipients of Canadian pork products.

Rice projected Canada's weanling and feeder pig shipments to the U.S. during calendar 2008 to be above seven million head, up from 6.7 million shipped to the U.S. during 2007.

With Canada shipping so many weanling and feeder pigs to the U.S., imports of U.S. fresh, chilled and frozen pork products back into Canada have been steadily rising and should be up again during 2008, he said.

Much of Canada's pork movement into the U.S. was for the U.S. processing industry, while shipments of U.S. pork into Canada were mainly for the retail sector, Rice said.

Hog slaughter capacity in Canada as of November 2007 totalled around 455,000 head per week, Rice said. Capacity in November 2006 was 500,000 head a week.

View the CountryGuide story by clicking here.

5m Editor