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US pork imports to Canada increasing

US exports of fresh, chilled and frozen pork products to Canada have been steadily increasing, and the gap between Canadian exports and US imports were seen narrowing further, according to an official with the Canadian Pork Council.

Steadily rising
"The amount of US pork being imported into Canada has been steadily rising while shipments of Canadian pork into the US has been slowly declining," said Martin Rice, an executive director with the Canadian Pork Council. 

The decline in Canadian pork products to the US was partly linked to the decline in pork processing in Canada, as well as to Canadian producers who are finding it more profitable to ship their feeder pigs to the US to farrow and finish them, Rice said.

Future business model
Meanwhile, the Canadian pork processing business model for the future seems to be not to get involved in fresh cuts. "That is already evident by the number of businesses which have already left the pork product business," he said.

With less pigs to process in Canada, Rice projected that Canadian exports of pork to the US would decline to below 300,000 tons, while imports of US pork remain constant at around 200,000 tons if not a bit higher. 

Rice predicted that Canada's offshore market share for pork products will decline further, especially as the production of hogs in Canada still has to undergo a further contraction yet.

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