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Canadian pig meat exports down

Canadian pig meat exports have shown a strong downward trend, especially in comparison to US shipments, which were generally robust this year.
calendar icon 13 December 2021
clock icon 1 minute read

Volumes exported (including offal) across the first ten months of the year were 4% lower than in 2020 at 1.12 million tonnes, Bethan Wilkins, Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) senior analyst for red meat, wrote in a special report on the country. The decline had accelerated to a 7% drop by the third quarter, and in October alone volumes were nearly 14% lower.

China had overtaken the US to be Canada’s largest export market last year. However, in 2021 shipments halved, to 244,000 tonnes, bringing China back into second position. Like other global exporters, Canada has felt the effects of lower Chinese demand for imported pork as their domestic production has increased somewhat.

Canada has not been able to fully compensate for this decline by exporting product elsewhere, said Wilkins. Nonetheless, there was strong growth to the US (+26%), which resumed its position as the dominant market and received 293,000 tonnes.

Shipments to Mexico also doubled, totalling 143,000 tonnes and volumes to the Philippines quadrupled, at 107,000 tonnes.

Languishing Chinese import demand means global pork exporters are currently facing much competition on alternative markets. Export growth relative to previous highs may remain difficult for most key players to achieve.