Number of pigs in Canada declines rapidly
Canada's pig herd has shrunk
dramatically by almost 12% in the last twelve months.
High feed costs and low pig prices forced producers to quit business or
downscale their production, a joint report by Statistics Canada (Statscan) and
the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) revealed last week.
As of April
1 there were 13 million animals on Canadian farms, compared with nearly 14.73
million at April 1, 2007, which equals to an 11.8% loss. That is the largest
year-to-year decline in 30 years, the report said.
Statscan said in its
report that at the beginning of April, Canada had almost one in five fewer pig
farmers than in April 2007. "Of those still in business, a number have closed
their barns or reduced their breeding herd, or both."
The number of sows
fell 4.6% during the year to approximately 1.50 million head, Statscan said.
Exports to USA
The new Canadian data indicates the
pace of swine exports from Canada to the USA should slow down going forward,
according to several analysts.
Canada has increased its live pig exports
to the by nearly 30% over the past 12 months as a strong Canadian dollar and
several other factors have made it rather expensive to feed them to be
slaughtered in Canada.
Total exports rising
Canadian farmers exported an estimated 2.9 million pigs during the
first three months of 2008, a 25.9% increase from the same period a year ago. At
the same time, the domestic slaughter of pigs declined 1.1%, compared with the
first three months of 2007, according to Statscan data.
In February of
this year, the Canadian government announced a cull programme aimed at reducing
the pig breeding herd by about 10% and resizing annual production by about 3
The new data put combined US and Canadian inventory during
March 2008 at 78.9 million head, up 3% from a year ago and up 5% in comparison
to March, 2006.
To comment, login here
Or register to be able to comment.