Canada hog supply edges up

winnipeg / reuters / Canada’s hog herd rose in the first quarter for the second straight year, as inventories recover from a period of downsizing spurred on by the Canadian government.

The herd rose 1.8 per cent year over year to 12 million hogs on April 1, following a similar increase at the same time in 2011. Inventories had shrunk four straight years from 2007-10.

The number of hogs rose one per cent in Quebec, the biggest hog-producing province, was flat in Ontario and edged up 0.6 per cent in Manitoba during the first quarter of 2012.

In August 2009, the Canadian government announced $75 million in funding to pay farmers to stop hog production for at least three years, as high feed costs and weak hog prices weighed down the industry.

Live hog futures have risen for four straight years and are up slightly so far in 2012.

Canada’s live hog exports slipped 0.9 per cent in the first quarter to 1.4 million hogs and are about half of their 2008 level, before the United States introduced its country-of-origin labelling regulation (COOL).

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