CME: Canadian Hog Inventories Decline

US - CME's Daily Livestock Report for 17 February 2009.
calendar icon 18 February 2009
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Statistics Canada issued its latest estimates of hog and cattle inventories on Tuesday, 17 February and now we have a clearer picture of the pork and beef supplies in North America at the beginning of the current calendar year. Because USDA conducts its quarterly hog inventory survey a month prior to the Canadian survey, the combined hogs and pigs numbers presented to the right are not exactly 1 January data but they are pretty close. Below is a brief recap of what the latest Canadian release contained and implications for North American supplies:

Total hog and pig inventories in Canada were reported at 12.4 million head, 10.2 per cent lower than a year ago and the largest year over year in Canadian hog inventories in the last thirty years. This is the third consecutive year that Canadian hog inventories have declined and Canadian hog and pig supplies are currently some 18 per cent smaller than they were back in 2006, the peak of the last growth cycle.

As the chart below shows, current North American inventories have been scaled back to the trend levels of the last few years. More importantly, the sharp cutbacks in the breeding herd all but assure even smaller supplies in 2009. The Canadian breeding herd as of 1 January was 1.404 million head, 7.1 per cent smaller than a year ago.

When combined with the US breeding herd of 1 December, the total North American hog breeding inventory is estimated at 7.485 million head, some 260,000 head or 3.4 per cent smaller than a year ago. This is the smallest North American breeding herd in at least thirty years.

While productivity gains may offset some of the impact from the smaller breeding herd, the current declines should help mitigate the negative effects of expected smaller North American pork exports to the rest of the world in 2009.

Further Reading

- You can view the Canadian Hog Statistics (Fourth Quarter 2008) report by clicking here.
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