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Canada importing more US pork amid woes

Canada's strong currency combined with the pork industries struggles with rising feed costs, shrinking inventory, declining hog slaughter and fleeing producers have ironically resulted in increased pork imports from the US. Canada pork imports from the US rose 20 percent in 2007 from 2006.


May 14, 2008
By meatingplace.com

May 14, 2008

While Canada's pork industry struggles to
sustain itself amid rising feed costs, shrinking inventory, declining hog
slaughter and fleeing producers, the country's strong currency is resulting,
ironically, in increased imports of pork from the
United States.

According to a report by USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. pork sales to Canada rose 20 percent to 164,334 metric
tons in 2007, compared with 137,302 metric tons in 2006. Most of the load
consisted of fresh or chilled pork cuts, including back ribs and
U.S. prepared pork including
pre-packaged sausages.

Demand for U.S. pork in Canada is expected to increase in 2008,
reflecting the forecast for lower Canadian pork production and a continued
strong Canadian dollar versus the U.S. dollar. Over the January to February
period,
U.S. pork was up 40 percent over the
same period a year ago.

Times are so tough in Canada that its hog farmers are fleeing the
industry "at an unprecedented rate," the report said. According to
Statistics Canada, the total number of Canadian hog farms on
April
1, 2008
,
fell to 8,820 farms, down 19.3 percent from the level one year earlier.