September 6, 2017


Canadian pig herd grows 2% in 1st half; growth path sustained


The number of pigs on holdings in Canada as of July 1 rose for the fifth consecutive year to 14.1 million head, up 2% on the same period in 2016 and 12% higher than July 1, 2012, according to latest data from Statistics Canada, as compiled by AHDB Pork.


As the number of pig farms in Canada increased 1% on year to 7,880, the breeding herd as of July 1 was equally 1% higher than the same period in 2016 at 1.3 million head.


The overall increase was driven by a 4% rise in young pigs (23-53 kg) to 2.5 million head. The number of piglets under 7 kg as of July 1 also increased 4% on year to 1.9 million head. Slaughter pig (over 54 kg) numbers increased by 2% on the previous year, which would suggest a continued rise in slaughterings in the third quarter.


The pork division of the UK Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board noted that the continuing growth of the Canadian pig herd has been achieved by improved profitability, with feed prices relatively low and pig prices firm. "Over the past couple of years, Canadian pig prices have been supported somewhat by its strong export performance", it said.


During the first half, pig meat exported to China increased 9% to 175,900 tonnes. China now accounts for the largest share of Canadian exports, overtaking the US. Exports of pig meat to other Asian markets including Japan and the Philippines from January to June also increased year-on-year, by 14% and 44% respectively.

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