Ontario Feeder Pig Exports Falling Created on Sep 28, 2018
Feeder pig exports from Ontario to the U.S. dropped in volume during the first two quarters of 2018 as compared to 2017, with an average of 1,800 fewer exported feeders each week. The first 10 weeks of Q3 reflected a 15% decrease (an average of 2,580 fewer exported animals per week) compared to the same date range in 2017.
This year’s drop in feeder pig exports is the most dramatic decline since Country of Origin Labelling in 2008 (a 25% decline from the prior year) and the year following Premium Pork – at the time Canada’s largest producer and exporter of weanling pigs – going out of business in 2004 (a 29% decline from the year prior).
Investigating how this could affect Ontario hog volumes, Stats Canada’s estimated hog volume data already shows as of July 1, 2018 a 7.4% increase in market animals in the 23 to 53kg range as compared to 2017. This means an increase in animals would likely start reaching market size in October and November.
Data indicates an increase in the number of hogs staying in Ontario to be finished. However, while this shortens the gap between hog volumes and packer capacity growth, it does not compensate for the full growth in capacity expected. Ontario appears to be taking the natural steps to fill opening capacity, but should still expect a competitive environment this fall.