March 23, 2018
Canada pig herd continues to expand
The total number of pigs in Canada in January reached 14.3 million head, 3% higher than year earlier levels, AHDB Pork reports, citing the latest figures from Statistics Canada. This represents the fourth consecutive year of expansion for the Canadian pig industry, it said.
The pork division of the UK Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board also said the latest census results suggest that further growth in pig meat production can be anticipated this year, at least in the short term, with young pig numbers up 7%, and piglets up 3%. Last year Canadian pig meat production reached 1.96 million tonnes, which was 2% higher than the previous year.
AHDB Pork said that the domestic and export markets will need to be strong if the industry is to remain profitable. In 2017, Canadian pork exports were stable on the year at 960,000 tonnes as growth to Japan, the Philippines and Taiwan compensated for lower shipments to China and the US, where pig meat production is also expected to increase this year.
Exports are likely to continue declining to the US market, which accounted for 30% of Canadian pork exports in 2017, AHDB Pork said. Thus, Canada's reliance on the Asian markets could increase, intensifying competition with EU exporters.
With Chinese pork production anticipated to continue expanding and consumption growth stagnating, this market also remains uncertain. The same is true with the EU, AHDB Pork said.