Hog inventory up from year-earlier level

Canada’s hog inventories as of April 1 totalled 11.81 million head — up from 11.65 million during the same time a year ago, but down slightly from 11.895 million during the quarter ending Jan. 1.

According to new Statistics Canada data, hog inventories were up in all major hog-producing provinces except Quebec and Alberta, where they were slightly down by 0.5 and 0.7 per cent respectively from the same quarter in 2010.

The hog breeding herd appears to have stabilized after a steady decline that began in the second quarter of 2007 and continued up to the first quarter of 2010, StatsCan said Thursday.

As of April 1, sow inventory remained virtually unchanged at 1.3 million head, down only 0.2 per cent from a year earlier, and down 5.1 per cent from the same date in 2009.

In addition, farmers anticipated no significant changes in the number of sows expected to farrow during the second and third quarters of 2011.

During the first quarter of 2011, about 5.5 million hogs were slaughtered in Canada, a decline of 2.8 per cent from a year earlier. Slaughter decreased by 3.3 per cent in the eastern provinces and by two per cent in the West.

An estimated 1.4 million hogs were exported during the quarter, down 3.6 per cent from the same period in 2010, Statistics Canada said.

Exports by the western provinces, which account for about three quarters of total Canadian hog exports, went down by 7.4 per cent. Exports by the eastern provinces, however, increased by 8.7 per cent.

Pigs on farm in Canada at April 1, 2011. Source: Statistics Canada.

  Inventory Per cent
  (‘000 head) change
All hogs and pigs 11,810.0 +1.4
Breeding stock 1,308.2 -0.4
 Sows + bred gilts 1,291.3 -0.2
 Boars, 6 mos. + up 16.9 -15.1
All other pigs 10,501.8 +1.6
 <20 kg 3,551.1 +1.3
 20-60 kg 3,410.0 -0.5 
 >60 kg 3,540.7 +4.0

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