Since 2008, imports of Canadian market hogs have been in sharp decline, according to Steve Meyer and Len Steiner, authors of the Daily Livestock Report for the CME Group.

Imports of Canadian market hogs peaked in 2007 at 2.804 million. That number fell to only 585,145 last year, a decline of 2.219 million head.

Slaughter sow and boar imports peaked in 2009 at 640,977 head and fell by nearly 150,000 in 2010 to only 494,454 head.

Feeder pig imports peaked in 2008 at 6.66 million head, sliding to 4.576 million, down 2.08 million head, for 2010.

The authors point out that since the three classes all peaked in different years, comparisons are a bit difficult. Comparison of 2010 to 2008 is made simply because U.S. commercial hog slaughter peaked in 2008 at 116.452 million head. Canadian imports made up 8.881 million of those pigs. In 2010, Canadian imports accounted for 5.655 million, 3.266 million fewer.

Last year, U.S. commercial hog slaughter was 110.257 million head, down 6.195 million from 2008, and reduced imports from Canada accounted for 52% of the lower slaughter.

Declines in Canadian live hog imports have apparently stopped, and now appear to be relatively stable at around 90,000 feeder pigs, 11,000 market hogs and 9,000 sows and boars per week, according to Meyer and Steiner.

Access the Daily Livestock Report at www.dailylivestockreport.com.