Repeal of COOL Unlikely to Alter US Demand for Canadian Market Hogs

CANADA - The general Manager of [email protected] Marketing Services says repeal of US Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling is unlikely to have any immediate impact on the number of Canadian market hogs moving south, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 15 December 2015
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Earlier this week the World Trade Organization authorized Canada and Mexico to move forward with the implementation of retaliatory tariffs of well over $1,000,000,000 on US imports in response to Country of Origin Labelling.

Perry Mohr, the general Manager of [email protected] Marketing services, says, since the implementation of COOL, live market hog exports to the US have virtually dried up and the number of weanlings going south has fallen significantly prompting many weanling producers to shut down completely or convert barns to finishing spaces.

Perry [email protected] Marketing Services:

On the surface one would think that, if the Country of Origin Labelling is repealed, it would change or open up the flow of those market hogs, the bacon hogs, to the United States and probably potentially increase the flow of weanlings into the United States.

The fact of the matter is however that at this particular juncture in time the U.S. packers are killing at or near capacity.

They are expecting the U.S. producers to expand moderately into next year and, while there is some new packing capacity coming on the horizon, it's only coming on in 2017.

So on the surface it would give us open access to that market but, at the same time I'm not sure the American processors are looking for additional hogs to top off their kills right now.

Mohr notes, while there are concerns going into next year about slaughter capacity limitations in the United States, that isn't the case on this side of the border.

He acknowledges open access to any market is a good thing but, since U.S. packers have supply chains established, repeal is unlikely to significantly impact slaughter hog exports.

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