Canada’s Breeding Herd Steady

Statistics Canada released Canada’s Swine Inventory for October 1st last week.

Hogs on Farms Canada

October 1st (thousands of head)













The Canadian breeding herd is steady at 1.308 million while the market hog inventory has gained about 100,000.  The bottom line: steady as she goes. Look at 2004 since then Canada’s breeding herd has dropped 320,000 while the market hog inventory is down about 2.5 million.  The strength of the Canadian dollar, Country of Origin Labeling, high feed prices, and Government buy out scheme has significantly cut production.

Live Hog Exports to U.S. from Canada

Jan – Oct 22, 2011



% change





Feeder pig








The steady as she goes applies to Canadian pigs to U.S.A., basically no change year over year.  The bottom line: The financial scenario in Canada’s swine industry will in our opinion not encourage any expansion in the near future.  No new sow barns are being built.  There are some existing empty sow units that will be refilled over the next two years as they come out of the Government buy out.  We expect what comes back into production will probably be countered by older barns going out of production.

Continental Inventory

            In conjunction with the release of Canada’s Swine Inventory the U.S.D.A. prepares a U.S.A. – Canada combined inventory.

Hogs and Pigs Inventory Number by Class and Quarter – United States and Canada

September U.S.A. – October – Canada (thousand head)




Kept for breeding






Sows Farrowed



Pig Crop



The total supply of U.S.A. – Canada statistics tell us there is no indicators showing increased hog supply.  A handful more sows, a handful more market hogs, and a bit larger pig crop is no indicator of any expansion.  We expect hog prices will continue strong over the coming months.  Supply is not the issue.  Demand is everything.

Chicken Little Economists

            We are accused of being optimistic and we are certainly not Chicken Little Economists.  Last week in the North American Review Dr. Steve Meyer economist listed potential sky is falling scenarios. His List *A trade disruption that would leave any significant portion of the 22% or so of U.S. production that will be exported this year. *Something that negatively impacts U.S. consumer level pork demand. *A 2012 corn crop below 12 million bushels *Output growth of 4% or more and maybe even less depending on the 2012 corn crop *Insufficient slaughter capacity in the fourth quarter 2012 Of course Dr. Meyers is right – these are all points that could impact our industry.  It’s good to be aware of what might go wrong.  Be prudent. We see differently, we don’t dwell on what might go wrong.  We are all descendents of immigrants that came here with little but optimism.  Over generations a next to vacant land has been built into the world’s largest economy, the world’s most innovative with the world’s best productivity.  A society that looks ahead not quivering from what might go wrong.  The sky is falling!! Personally, having travelled to 38 pig producing countries I find it defeatist to think anything but that we can compete in the world.  We have capital, expertise, and infrastructure from production to packing – second to none. Our perspective to Dr. Meyers Points: *The world wealth is growing.  They want meat protein – this leads to more pork exports not less. *Pork is the safest meat product.  No e – coli scares, no salmonella scares.  Consumers have more fear of cantaloupes. *In 2012 every acre will be planted for corn, wheat, and soybean in the U.S. and the world.  One of 10 years there are U.S. crop failures.  You go broke betting on crop failures (corn in China $9 per bushel last week). *More hog output of 4% by fall 2012?  The September sow herd is the one bred for next fall.  4% increase will not happen from a ½ of 1% greater sow herd. *1/2 of 1% more sows on September 1st will never produce enough hogs to overwhelm U.S. packer capacity next fall.  The fear of 1998 is a red herring. One other note: *We have been writing for a couple of years about the huge increase in planted grain acres in the world.  High prices have lead to more wheat acres.  The International Grains Council to project the world’s wheat inventories the highest in ten years at 684 million tons.  December wheat closed at $6.23 last Friday.  That is down over $3.00 ($9.65) a bushel from the high earlier this year.  Wheat at $6.23 will help keep the corn price down.  Wheat can and will feed pigs as a substitute ingredient.  As it is said: ‘Surest cure to high prices is high prices.’

Categorised in:

This post was written by Genesus