The quarterly survey of Canadian hog operations released Oct. 28 by Statistics Canada confirms what has been known for some time. The Canadian hog industry continues to contract in its breeding herd and ships less pork and hogs to export markets, according to The Daily Livestock Report (www.dailylivestockreport.com) authors Steve Meyer and Len Steiner.

That trend of reductions in Canadian hog numbers will be difficult to reverse in 2011 given expectations for high feed prices and a strong Canadian currency.

As of Oct. 1, the total Canadian hog inventory was 11.854 million head, 0.8% lower than a year ago. Since the third quarter of 2005, Canadian hog and pig inventories are down 3.3 million head or 22%. Combined, United States and Canada inventory now stands at 76.845 million head, 2.3% lower than a year ago.

Canada’s total inventory of breeding animals on Oct. 1 was 1.298 million head, 51,300 head or 3.8% lower than a year ago, according to Meyer and Steiner’s report today.
The breeding herd in Canada now stands at 21% below levels in 2005. The combined U.S.-Canada breeding herd is now estimated at 7.068 million head, 2.2% lower than a year ago.

Erosion of hog profitability has played a role in the reduction in the number of hog operations in Canada. The most recent data shows 4,430 farms in eastern provinces, down about 56% from the number of farms reporting in 1997. In western provinces, there are about 2,605 farms reporting pig inventories, compared to 10,160 farms in 1997, a 75% decline.