Bob Fraser – Sales & Service, Genesus Ontario

I read recently that The Queen had another Annus Horribilis (horrible year). Perhaps, but not sure, it has anything on the Canadian Pork Producer. The year in review. If a picture is worth a thousand words, here’s the picture.

Seems we took a whupping at every turn.  

Canada – First-ever Bacon Hour while Waiting for China. In January wrote of profit per pig with average production standing at (-$22.26). The corn harvest was showing high levels of DON (mycotoxin). We got to feel the effects of that throughout the year.

Canada – Industry at a Crossroads. In March wrote of the Canadian sow herd standing at 1.24 million. Basically, flat for the past decade and back to where it was two decades ago, with close to a 25% decline from its peak of 1.6 million in 2005. Hardly the mark of a vibrant industry. Profitability per pig with average production has eroded further to (-$34.07)

Canada – Capital & Courage. By May an unprecedented reversal of fortunes as profitability per pig with average production explodes to $55.39. This was the result of an incredible run on futures beginning in late March on ASF in China. Unfortunately, it all too soon proved premature and highly speculative.

Canada – Between a Rock & a Hard Place. By July profitability per pig with average production has turned back to red (-$5.03). We had a nice run but not near long enough. What about ASF and China? Well as they say, “it’s complicated” and not the least very political. June 25th Canadian pork producers were informed that China will no longer be accepting Canadian pork products. (refer to picture above). At basically the same time Manitoba was experiencing its worst-ever year of PEDv.

Canada – Chinese Rollercoaster. Come September profitability per pig with average production remains red at (-$9.20).

Canada – While we Wait on China. In November I reported on OMAFRA’s Monthly Hog Market Facts. It was showing the first six-month average net return at $3.90. The last six-month average net return is not yet complete but will be lucky to match this number and more likely to be negative on average for the period. So, for a year with so much promise a breakeven year at best. In addition, Ontario has struggled through a “harvest from hell”. After a tough spring that saw much corn planted in June and beans pushed even into July, the fall seemed a sequel, wet and backward, with early snow (that has since left). Probably five to ten percent of the corn remains in the field heading into the New Year with even beans in some parts of the province. In Western Canada, this number for their crops probably stands at 25% or higher. To be salvaged in the spring if at all. 

However, when one considers their trials and tribulations, they’re also well to consider their blessings as well. We live in one of the best countries in the world – free, democratic, governed by the rule of law. If you don’t consider those blessings try somewhere else. With that, if you also have health and family you can consider yourself triple blessed. Also, the promise of China still awaits…

Wishing you and yours a Most Merry Christmas and
Happy and Prosperous New Year!

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This post was written by Genesus