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Canada Hog Price Forecast Stable As Supply Drops

Canadian hog farmers should see stable prices this year as supply drops faster than demand, a market analyst told the Canadian Wheat Board’s GrainWorld conference on Feb. 24.

Prices will reach $140 per hog this quarter and rise as high as $174 per hog by the third quarter, said Steve Dziver of Winnipegbased research firm Phoenix AgriTec.

“It’s a stability year, not a collapse year,” he told farmers and analysts at the conference.

Production in Canada is decreasing because of unfavourable conditions like high feed prices and a strong Canadian dollar last year, he said. The latest blow comes from U. S. country-of-origin labelling, Dziver said, which will threaten the 50,000 Canadian-owned feeder hogs that farmers finish in the U. S. every year by making that market less accessible.

U. S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Feb. 20 he may rewrite the U. S. rule that requires country-of-origin labels on meat sold in grocery stores if the food industry does not voluntarily make labels more explicit. The labelling law takes effect on March 16.

The economic crisis is expected to have a mixed impact on pork demand. In the industrialized world, pork consumption rises as income falls, Dziver said. In developing countries, however, pork is considered a superior good and consumption increases with income.

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