Winnipeg / reuters/ The number of hogs on Canadian farms edged up slightly since last year, but inventories were still second smallest in more than a decade, according to Statistics Canada data released Nov. 4.
After a long period of decline for the industry, farmers also held on to more of their breeding stock, suggesting the industry may be stabilizing, said StatsCan analyst Jesus Dominguez.
Prices may be the main reason, he said.
The Canadian hog industry came under intense pressure in recent years from a strong Canadian dollar, higher feed costs and the U.S. country-of-origin labelling law, leading Ottawa to offer incentives in 2009 for farmers to cease production.
This year, hog inventories rose 0.9 per cent year over year to 12 million hogs as of Oct. 1.
The estimated number of sows and gilts was flat from the previous year, at 1.29 million, ending a six-year decline.
Hog exports in the third quarter totalled 1.4 million head, down 4.3 per cent from the same quarter in 2010. The strong Canadian dollar and weak U.S. economy hampered exports, Dominguez said. The data is based on analysis, not a farmer survey.