October 23, 2014
Canadian pig industry hard- hit by Russian boycott--analyst
An independent livestock and meat market analyst said that if there was one event that dealt a big blow to Canada's pork industry, it was the Russian ban on exports from Western countries imposed in August. The ban was in retaliation for the trade sanctions the countries, including Canada, imposed on Russia owing to its support for pro-Russia separatist rebels in Ukraine.
Kevin Grier, speaking at a recent industry media call in Ontario, said the overall impact of the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) in Canada was rather limited. He recalled that Canada had its first case of PEDv in January but that that the pork industry learned how to deal with the disease from witnessing how the US industry responded to it.
"The bottom line is that PED in Canada has been relatively small. I like to think we learned from watching the US in terms of dealing with it," he said.
Even the bankruptcy declared by Quality Meat Packers in early May was a sort of a blessing in disguise, Grier averred. "That event (bankruptcy) helped counter an outbreak of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus in Ontario in January," he explained.
But the Russian boycott of several agricultural products from Canada, the US, the EU, Australia and Norway starting on August 7 impacted Canadian producers more than US producers, he said.
"We were hit much harder than you folks were with regard to the Russian boycott," Grier said.
Fortunately, he added, the problem was resolving itself due to supply and demand.
"The countries that Russia is taking product from, we're starting to backfill those already so everything is starting to settle out with regard to the impact from Russia," he said.