Hog Market Outlook Impoves

CANADA - The Saskatchewan Pork Development Board reports the market outlook for hogs for the coming months is better than it's for the past three years, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 24 February 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

Statistics Canada's Quarterly Hog Report, released last week, shows the Canadian breeding herd currently sits at 1.3 million head following a four percent decline in Canadian sow and bred gilt inventory numbers over the past year while the total number of hogs on farm fell by 4.5 per cent to 11.6 million head.

Saskatchewan Pork Development Board industry and policy analyst Mark Ferguson notes, because Canadian hog prices are based on the US market, the impact of the declines probably haven't been huge but every little bit makes a difference.

Mark Ferguson-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board

We've seen sow inventories decrease and market inventories decrease over the part three years in response to what has been terrible market conditions.

Another factor that has influenced the decrease has been the Hog farm Transition program, the program where producers get paid to stay out of production, and they were able to bid get out.

On the flip side the market outlook is looking better than it ever has.

Feed wheat and barley prices have come down a lot since the harvest this last fall so feed prices are looking quite good right now.

Hog prices also are looking about as good as they ever have in the past three years.

You're able to lock in a good price for the summer and I think there will be a lot of producers looking at a positive margin beginning maybe as early as April.

That's something we haven't seen before and it's definitely positive.

You have to feel great for the producers out there.

Mr Ferguson expects the breeding herd to continue to decrease over the coming months as those producers who have been accepted under the hog farm transition program carry through with their plans which will be a positive and he's hoping to see continued strong demand for pork and declines of pork in storage.

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