Pork Commentary

Jim Long President – CEO Genesus Inc.


December 15, 2014

Prairie Live Stock Expo

Last week we attended the Prairie Livestock Expo in Winnipeg, Manitoba. This was the first Prairie Livestock Expo as it has replaced what was known as Manitoba Hog Days. The Prairie Livestock Expo is a multi – species event with not only swine exhibitors but also cattle, poultry, etc. Held at the Victoria Inn Convention complex near the Winnipeg airport. Our observations:
  • The Victoria Inn is a better venue than the Winnipeg Downtown Convention Centre or the Brandon Centre.
  • The speaker’s area was in the convention area and the ongoing din from speakers was a nuisance. We expect speakers found it a distraction with people constantly wandering by.
  • First event we ever attended that had no food available in the convention area
  • A one day event, it should be two full days. We were unable to visit all our customers and others in a narrow time frame. When you consider cost of exhibit, set up time, etc. the idea of one day does not make sense. We believe if the people were asked who write the cheques – one or two days. The people writing cheques would say two.
  • Bottom line – good event, better overall venue. First year, fine-tuning will make it an excellent experience.
 Other Observations
  • Swine producers we talked to were the happiest group we have ever been around. Profits have been excellent. PED has been a non-factor in Manitoba’s production base.
  • There is no building of new barns in Manitoba. A government moratorium on new swine barn construction prevents any new buildings.
  • Some existing sow units that have been empty are getting started again. We expect this will increase Manitoba’s sow herd about 20,000.
  • Manitoba has surplus packer capacity. Maple Leaf Foods and Hylife have approximately 140,000 per week ability. Production is operating at about 100 – 110,000. About 50,000 small pigs (sows – feeders) are leaving Manitoba a week mostly to the USA. With the moratorium, no new finishers can be built to finish the pigs to fill the packer’s capacity. The Government mandated insanity of a moratorium is just that insane.
  • The Manitoba Provincial Government elected by the Urban areas of the province has made swine producers the scapegoat for any environmental pollution that ever happened. It is wedge politics at its finest. Make a scapegoat, make them the big boogey monster, and blame the pig farmers. In the meantime packing plants are underutilized, opportunities for employment and added value pork production are stopped. The foolishness of the government’s policy is quite sad, especially when you consider the vast areas of farmland and low population that is Manitoba.
  • At the Expo, there were people from other areas including the US. The US industry people all speak of US expansion, its coming, and its real. There are more hogs coming. The hog cycle is alive and well. We can never stand prosperity.
  • There were some European visitors. They talked about the PED virus in the Ukraine. They expect it is not if, but when it will sweep through Europe. If it happens as they expect, there could be 10 – 14 million pigs die in the time of a major break. A market mover. We are not sure if the risk is high for a major PED break, but the Europeans we talked to believe it is real.
Last week we had customers from Viet Nam selecting breeding stock at Genesus. A larger production system, they are expanding. Profits are running $20 – $40 per head in Vietnam. New barns and desire for new technology (genetics) are pushing their industry forward. As their economy continues to get stronger, pork demand is increasing. Conclusion Expansion is ongoing. The hog cycle is alive. We cannot stand prosperity.

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This post was written by Genesus