April 10, 2009

Canada's pork exports seen falling 10 percent this year

Total Canadian pork exports are expected to fall 10 percent in 2009 due to domestic hog production declines.


Canadian hog production is anticipated to drop 10 percent this year due to North American livestock liquidation resulting from depressed hog prices.


Exports are expected to reach one million tonnes this year, down from 1.1 million tonnes in 2008 but similar to 2007 levels.


Key markets will be mostly unchanged, with the US as the top destination followed by Japan, China/Hong Kong and South Korea. Russia is also expected to remain in the top five markets but it is unknown how much the country will import this year compared to 2008.


The world economic slowdown has reduced Russia's buying power and a number of Canadian processing plants are not approved to export pork to Russia.


The exchange rate of the Canadian dollar will have the biggest impact on Canada's ability to sell its pork products abroad, said Jacques Pomerleau, executive director of Canadian Pork International in Ottawa.


The Canadian dollar is highly volatile and that hurts local exporters because most international trade is done in US dollars, he said.

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