Hog inventories were seen to have increased on a year-over-year basis on January 1, 2012. Hog inventories were reported at 12.0 million head, up 1.1% from 11.9 million on January 1, 2011 and higher by 1.6% from the same date in 2010. This represents the first successive increase in the January 1 inventories since 2006.
The breeding herd continued to decline in 2011. There were 1.3 million sows and gilts reported at January 1, 2012, down fractionally from a year earlier and 1.3% less than number reported on the same date two years ago. The fourth quarter inventories of sows and gilts have not been at this level since 1999. Sows farrowed in the fourth quarter of 2011 were 1.0% higher than the number farrowed during the same period a year earlier. Sows expected to farrow in the first quarter of 2012 are estimated to be 0.1% above the fourth quarter of 2011.
Domestic hog slaughter totalled 21.3 million head in 2011, down 0.1% from 2010. Hog slaughter in the fourth quarter of 2011 is up 2.4% from the same quarter in 2010. Hog exports were reported at 5.8 million head in 2011, up 1.3% from 2010. This was the first annual increase since the peak observed in 2007.
Exports in 2011 were still 8.4% below the number of hogs exported in 2009 and 41.8% lower than the number observed in 2007 prior to the introduction of the Country Of Origin Labelling (COOL) regulations in the US in the fall of 2008.
Hog slaughter prices strengthened throughout 2011. The farm product price index for hogs indicates that hog prices in the second half of 2011 reached levels not seen since 2004.
Monday February 20, 2012/ Statistics Canada/ Canada.