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Canadian Breeding Herd Finds New Level

16 May 2011

Your Guide to Global Pig Industy Trends Published monthly, Whole Hog Brief provides 10 pages of detailed analysis of global pig industry trends, summarising key data from all the major markets. If you need to keep up with global pig industry trends Whole Hog Brief is an invaluable tool.

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By Chris Harris, Editor-in-Chief of TheMeatSite. Our snapshot of the ongoing global pig industry trends as reported in May 2011 Whole Hog Brief. To read the full detailed analysis, including all the commentary and graphical data, subscribe to the publication.

The latest figures from Statistics Canada show that the drop in numbers in the Canadian breeding herd is levelling off.

The Whole Hog says that the figures indicate that despite a small drop in numbers - 0.5 per cent year on year - the Canadian pig sector could be over the worst.

The numbers of sows and gilts is 1.3 million, virtually the same as a year previously, but this is still the lowest level since 1999.

With the cuts in herd numbers coming to an end the restructuring of the Canadian pig sector is at an end, the Whole Hog says.

However, in Denmark, the April census shows a drop of about four per cent for both breeding sows and gilts and a five per cent drop in the numbers of slaughter weight pigs.

The Whole Hog says that although there is hope for a turn around in prices in 2011, other factors such as high feed prices and government intervention are not breeding confidence in the sector.

In the UK, the Whole Hog reports that at the recent Outlook conference in London, the AHDB senior analyst James Park indicated a rise in pork production in 2012 despite falling margins and increased slaughter in 2011.

The Whole Hog said the forecast and the figures present a confusing picture for the sector.

In the USA, the North American breeding herd has reached the end of its adjustment.

The sector has reached the bottom of the market and while there are no plans for expansion, further decline is also not expected.

The North American breeding herd is 7.1 million head - an increase of just 0.3 per cent on last year.

The total number of market hogs is 68.7 million, which is an increase of 0.7 per cent on 2010.

New Peak Value for Pig Prices

The Whole Hog reports that the pig price boom shows no sign of weakening.

The Global Pig Price Index at 139.2 has gone through the peak of April 2005 and is nearing the levels reached in November 2001.

In Europe, pig prices are heading sky high.

The Whole Hog says that some European countries are experiencing double digit percentage increases in prices, with the average Euro-zone pig price at 154.23 per 100kg - a year on year increase of more than 16 per cent.

Sluggish Start for Canadian Exports

The Whole Hog reports that the start of the year has seen a sluggish start for Canadian exports.

Sales are up by just 0.1 per cent with the February figures showing sales of 175,891 tonnes.

Live hog export figures are well down on 2010 figures.

However, US pork export figures have shown double digit growth for the first two months of the year.

They have shown an 11.5 per cent rise as sales have reacted to concerns over foot and mouth disease in South Korea, the fears of the nuclear disaster in Japan and the effects of a weak dollar.

The February export volume was 168,936 tonnes up by 8.1 per cent on February 2010.

In Australia, imports are falling as domestic production and exports are growing.

February sales were up by about 1.7 per cent and imports were down by about 20 per cent, while domestic slaughter numbers and production rose by 3.1 per cent and two per cent respectively.

One of the reasons for the flying start to the year for US exports is the rise in sales in Japan.

The January Japanese import figures were 19 per cent up compared to 2010 for US supplied pork, the Whole Hog says.

South Korea is also a major target for exporters at the moment, with the lion's share again going to the US.

The rise is driven by the foot and mouth disease outbreak in the country.

The year to date figures show a 40 per cent rise in imports in the first quarter of 2011.

Chris Harris, Senior Editor

Whole Hog Brief is published monthly.
Editorial: [email protected]    Phone: +44 (0)8450940604    Fax: +44 (0)8700519831

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