Canada: Hog Markets

CANADA - It has been a long winter and Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED) has added to the woes of the Canadian pig industry, writes Bob Fraser, Sales and Service with Genesus Ontario.
calendar icon 28 February 2014
clock icon 4 minute read

Well it has been a long hard winter. Cold, lots of snow and virtually no let up for what is beginning to feel like a very long time. Some would say an “old fashioned winter”. Perhaps we had grown a little soft with the last few relatively benign winters but I doubt that few will be sad to see the backside of this one, throughout Canada and much of North American. With polar vortex apparently now permanently part of the lexicon and a frozen over Great Lakes for the first time in twenty years and Lake Superior particularly reflecting back the sun’s heat one wonders when spring will ever come.

Then perhaps because misery likes company the first case of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) is discovered in Canada on 22 January 2014. This very first case was in the province of Ontario - the second largest hog-producing province. Since that time the number of confirmed cases in Ontario has grown to 21. In addition on 14 February 2014, PED virus was confirmed at one Manitoba (the third largest hog producing province farm and one Prince Edward Island (PEI is relatively small for hog production) farm.

The entire industry in Ontario particularly the veterinary community had been working very diligently to attempt to stay in front of this devastating emerging disease by monitoring the USA experience, investigating the gaps in our system for potential transmission especially from transport returning from US packing plants and cull sow facilities. From here have been promoting enhanced biosecurity protocols in an effort to keep the disease out or should it arrive (as it has) move to containment and elimination.

Then on 9 February, the industry got thrown a potential curve with Ontario sampling detecting PED genetic material in swine feed. This coupled with possible evidence of porcine blood plasma being a potential vector for transmission of the disease.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), as regulator for animal feed, announced on February 18, 2014 that they are conducting further testing to determine if feed may be a contributing factor in the current PED virus situation. The CFIA will work with the Council of Chief Veterinary Officers and the pork industry in Canada to proactively manage the possible risk of PED virus transmission through feed.

So this is at present still to be fully sorted out.

Finally in an effort to not be all doom and gloom I turn to the one serious ray of encouragement for the “Great White North”!!!

In the recent Sochi Winter Games, Canada takes gold in our National Sport hockey with both the women and the men. Then if we have a second National Sport we take gold in both women and men’s curling. It doesn’t get any better!

My experience is pig producers are also Olympians, always striving for gold but when they fall they just get back up, when faced with adversity just keep going.

A look at the OMAFRA Weekly Hog Market Facts compiled by John Bancroft, Market Strategies Program Lead, Stratford OMAFRA continues to show 2014 may still be the year for gold!

Genesus Global Market Report
Prices for the week of 17 February 2014
CountryDomestic price
(own currency)
US dollars
(Liveweight a lb)
USA (Iowa-Minnesota) 94.72 USD/lb carcass 70.90¢
Canada (Ontario) 177.71 CAD/kg carcass 58.15¢
Mexico (DF) 26.77 MXN/kg liveweight 91.41¢
Brazil (South Region) 3.38 BRL/kg liveweight 65.35¢
Russia 79 RUB/kg liveweight $1.00
China 11.81 RMB/kg liveweight 87.49¢
Spain 1.198 EUR/kg liveweight 74.30¢
Viet Nam 49,000 VND/kg liveweight $1.05
South Korea 4,450 KRW/kg liveweight $1.89

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