Manitoba Slaughter Hog Numbers Show Early Signs of Rebounding

CANADA - The General Manager of Manitoba Pork reports the province's pork industry is seeing the first signs of a rebound in the number of hogs available for processing, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 24 February 2017
clock icon 3 minute read

Over the past decade a combination of factors has led to a decline in the number of hogs produced in Manitoba resulting in challenges for the province's pork processing plants in accessing the numbers of slaughter hogs necessary to operate at capacity.

Andrew Dickson, the General manager of Manitoba Pork, reports the numbers of pigs on farms, have crept up a little bit so we're back to where we were back in about 2006 in terms of numbers of animals on farms, productivity continues to improve and we've got producers now thinking of expanding their operations.

Andrew Dickson-Manitoba Pork:

We've got a number of operators looking at whether they should expand their existing operations.

We've got some looking at building new facilities and we've got some service companies that provide, for example, genetics, they're looking at building new facilities here in Manitoba.

Its early days in terms of large numbers but it's a start.

It's better than what we were four or five years ago and we're hopeful.

The credit agencies have come to the table.

They're prepared to lend on new construction costs which has been a big help.

One of the processing plants is offering financial incentives to encourage people to build finishing barns so I think we're starting to see some real opportunities coming up in the next year.

Dickson notes the Canadian dollar is in the 74 to 76 cent range compared to the US, dollar so, when you translate the American hog price back into our price, there's margins in there if you're careful in terms of input costs and you lock in some of the higher prices being offered going forward into 2017.

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