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Pork Product Exports Up Despite Output Decline

by 5m Editor
5 October 2010, at 1:33am

CANADA - Exports of Canada's pork products have managed to hold steady and even climb despite live hog output in the country continuing to decline.

The ability to maintain exports of Canada's pork products also comes as domestic production of those products begins to decline, reports AgCanada.com.

"Considering that Canada's live hog production is about 25 per cent smaller than it was five years ago, the level of pork product exports have been holding steady and in some cases have been a bit higher," said Martin Rice, executive director of the Canadian Pork Council in Ottawa.

Canada's live hog exports have declined significantly, but Canada's pork processing sector has been producing at a steady pace, he said.

"We are going to start seeing lower processed pork numbers in Canada, but that is not likely to impact our export of those products," Mr Rice said, explaining that sales of pork products into the domestic market will drop in order to maintain the export sector.

Production of Canada's pork products were seen declining in the range of two to three per cent on a yearly basis, he said.

"However, because the processors are selling less of their production into Canada they are hoping to maintain export customers, if not gain a few extra," he said. "This is a trend which we have seen over the past several years."

Japan is expected to remain Canada's highest-value market for pork products despite the US being Canada's highest tonnage outlet, Mr Rice said.

In calendar year 2009, Canada shipped 226,866 tonnes of pork products to Japan worth C$865 million while in 2009, Canada shipped 329,000 tonnes of pork products to the US worth C$834 million.

Japan was expected to remain an important customer of Canada during 2010, Mr Rice said.

"Canada has been doing very well to keep Japan as a key customer of its pork products, while some countries have been seeing their pork sales to Japan going down," Mr Rice said, noting the US is one of those countries.

On a year-to-year basis, Canada's sales of pork to Japan were expected to increase in 2010.

"Through to the end of July in 2010, Canada had shipped 63.6 per cent of what it shipped during 2009 at the same time," he said. Canada had exported 144,296 tonnes of pork products to Japan at the end of July 2010.

Shipments of Canadian pork products to the US at the end of July 2010 totalled 186,911 tonnes.

The Russian federation has also been an important destination for Canada's pork products, Mr Rice said, and it appears shipments in 2010 will easily surpass the 2009 level.

At the end of July 2010, Canada had exported 53,179 tonnes of pork products to the Russian Federation, which almost matches the 58,872 tons shipped in all of 2009.

The Russian Federation is a highly variable market, However, Mr Rice expected Canadian shipments to that part of the world in 2010 to be double the 2009 level.

Mr Rice said there were also a number of other countries in which it appears Canada's pork product sales will surpass the previous year's level.

Those countries include, Mexico, the Philippines and Singapore, where Canadian pork product sales were already 50 per cent ahead of the year-ago level, Mr Rice said.

There were a few locations, he said, in which Canada's pork product sales were running behind from the year-ago pace, including Australia, Hong Kong, South Korea, China and New Zealand.

"Sales of Canadian pork products to those areas were running about 10 per cent or a bit more behind the previous year's pace," Mr Rice said.

Canadian pork product sales during calendar year 2009 to all global destinations totalled 1.075 million tonnes, compared with 1.094 million in 2008. At the end of July in 2010, Canadian pork product sales to all destinations were 633,525 tonnes.