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CME: Canadian Hog Statistics - Some Highlights

by 5m Editor
20 August 2008, at 2:09pm

US - CME's Daily Livestock Report for 19th August 2008.

Statistics Canada released on Tuesday its quarterly estimates of livestock numbers in Canada and the numbers, not surprisingly, were lower across the board. The graph below shows year-over-year comparisons of hog numbers in various weight classes and the breeding herd. It is somewhat of a surprise that the July declines were not larger than those found in April, especially for the breeding herd. Some highlights of the Hog Statistics report are:

  • Total hog inventories on July 1 were 12.965 million head, 11.6% lower than last year’s 14.69 million head. This year’s July inventory is the smallest in Canada since 2000. The largest portion of that decline was in the number of market animals, which declined 12.4% to 11.492 million head. As can be seen in the graph below, the inventory of pigs weighing 20 kg and more accounted for the largest percentage of this drop, a reflection of higher weaned pig and feeder pig exports to the U.S. in 2007 and through the first half of 2008
  • Canada’s swine breeding herd on July 1 numbered 1.493 million head, only 4.6% smaller than the level on July 1, 2007. That decline is a bit of a surprise given the government-sponsored buyout program and economic conditions that have led many observers to believe that the Canadian herd was headed for 1.1 to 1.2 million, roughly 25% below its peak in April 2005. These numbers suggest that the Canadian sow herd declined only 5,400 head in the second quarter when a program to remove 120,000 consigned sows was in full swing. The sow herd reduction program was retroactive to November so we don’t know exactly how many sows slaughtered through normal channels since November will be counted as part of the 120,000 head. Stats Canada reports that, as of August 9, just over 29,000 head had been slaughtered and sent to rendering instead of entering Canada’s food chain.
  • Some curious farrowing estimates. Keep in mind the change in the Canadian breeding herd (-4.6%) and then consider that April-June farrowings were estimated at 801,700 litters, down only 1% from last year and July-Sept farrowing intentions are for 800,800 litters to be farrowed — 0.8% MORE than last year. While we know that Canadian producers are efficient and that the exodus of 2010 farms (19% of the total) since last year has enhanced that efficiency, that many litters from so few sows does not seem probable.
  • An April-June pig crop of 8.65 million head. That number is 28,000 head or 0.3% lower than one year ago. It fits with April-June farrowings but, like the farrowings data cited above, does not fit well with the breeding herd data.
  • Hog farm numbers fell the most in Saskatchwan (-30%) and Alberta (- 24%), two provinces especially hard hit by high feed and transportation costs.

5m Editor