Movement of Canadian Pigs Limited to South

CANADA - The Manitoba Pork Marketing Co-op reports the introduction of Mandatory U.S. Country of Origin Labelling has had a negative impact on the movement Canadian slaughter hogs and weanling pigs into the United States, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 9 October 2008
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U.S. Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling officially came into effect September 30.

Manitoba Pork Marketing Co-op CEO Perry Mohr says the legislation has already restricted the movement of butcher hogs and weanlings from Canada into the United States.

Perry Mohr-Manitoba Pork Marketing Co-op

We got letters from both John Morrell and Hormel Meats who were the two largest purchasers of Canadian origin hogs and both them, I think probably, caught most of us in the industry by surprise.

Smithfield has taken the position that they will no longer buy bacon hogs out of Canada.

That means hogs that are born and raised in Canada and shipped to be butchered in the United States effective September 30 and in March they will discontinue buying hogs that were born in Canada, raised in the United States so that has some significant implications not only to us as marketers of butcher hogs but also to weanling producers.

In addition to Morrell's stance or Smithfield's stance Hormel has taken the position that effective September 30 they would buy no more of those bacon hogs or butcher hogs again but they would buy animals that were born in Canada and raised in the United States but they're only going to buy them on certain days at certain plants during certain hours.

Mohr says, while the Canadian processor with space to kill those hogs is buying them at fair market value and they haven't been discounted, that could change.

He says weanling prices went through a short period where they were heavily discounted but the value of those pigs has recovered somewhat but not completely due uncertainty over who is going to be taking them and for how long.

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