Cattle inventories continue to decline, StatsCan says

Canada's hog herd also down on year

(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

MarketsFarm — Canada’s cattle herd in 2019 continued on its generally consistent path of declining numbers, according to new data Statistics Canada released Tuesday.

Aside from a few slight increases in 2012, 2013 and 2018, Canadian cattle inventories have moved lower since 2005.

At 11.2 million head, the reported number of cattle on farms in the country as of Jan. 1, 2020, was down 1.9 per cent from the previous year and showed a 24.8 per cent decline off its January 2005 peak.

Breeding stock numbers were down 6.3 per cent on the year, to 515,000 head. Beef cows were down by 2.6 per cent, to 3.6 million head, while feeder heifers were down 1.9 per cent and steers 7.1 per cent. Calves were up 0.2 per cent, to 3.7 million head. Dairy cow numbers also increased 0.7 per cent on the year, to 1.4 million.

Hog inventories in the country were down by 0.6 per cent on the year, StatsCan reported, with 13.9 million hogs in the country as of Jan. 1, 2020. While that number was down slightly on the year, it still represented a 11.3 per cent increase over the past decade.

Canada exported 2.5 million hogs in the second half of 2019, down 1.4 per cent from the same time period the previous year. Total hog exports in 2019, at 5.1 million hogs, were down 2.8 per cent from 2018 and down about 49 per cent from their 2007 peak.

Sheep and lamb inventories in Canada on Jan. 1, 2020 came in at 802,300 head, down four per cent on the year and representing a 19.3 per cent drop from the high hit in 2004.

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