US: Canadian hog import levels declining
Canadian swine imports have been declining on a year-to-year basis since
late April, and the fourth-quarter projections likely will be well
below the same period last year, writes Curt Thacker.
In 2007, hogs born in Canada and shipped south
accounted for about 9.3% of US slaughter. The total numbers and percentage of US
slaughter represented by imported hogs are expected to be down this year from
the record highs set last year. Import
According to the US Department of Agriculture's livestock
import reports, the weekly average for hogs and pigs shipped to the US from
Canada during the first half of the year was slightly under 200,000 head. In the
14 weeks since, the average has declined to about 157,300 head.
autumn last year, domestic supplies of slaughter-ready hogs, as well as hog and
pig imports from Canada, were rising sharply. The increases in production from
both countries were due in large part to the broadened availability and
widespread use of vaccines for porcine circovirus-associated disease by early
Feeder pigs have made up about 73% of the hogs imported
from Canada so far in 2008, so the full effect of the decline wouldn't be felt
in the marketplace for about five months - when those pigs would reach slaughter
weight. Culling programme
Other analysts said a sow buyout programme initiated by the
Canadian government earlier this year has reduced the size of the breeding herd,
which has contributed to the decline in the number of pigs moving into the US.
Imports also dropped in recent weeks in advance of the implementation of the
mandatory Country of Origin Labelling legislation.Source: Dow Jones
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