On October 1, 2011, there were an estimated 12.0 million hogs held on Canadian farms, an increase of 0.9% relative to the same date a year earlier. The estimated number of sows held for breeding remained virtually unchanged, despite improvements in hog slaughter prices.
Three provinces – Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba – account for more than three quarters of Canadian hog inventories. On October 1, 2011, Quebec accounted for 32.9% of the total Canadian inventories with an estimated 3.9 million hogs held on farms. Ontario came next with 2.9 million hogs followed by Manitoba with 2.6 million head, accounting for 23.8% and 21.9% of national hog inventories, respectively.
Over the most recent ten-year period, the third quarter hog slaughter was observed to have peaked at 5.6 million head in 2004; the 5.3 million animals slaughtered during the same period in 2011 are 5.9% below that level. Hog slaughter in the third quarter increased 2.0% over the same period a year earlier, and by 5.1% compared to the second quarter of 2011. However, the third quarter slaughter remained 4.1% below the number reported in 2009.
Given the relative distribution of the Canadian herd throughout the provinces, it is not surprising that hog processing is concentrated in Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba. There were 1.8 million hogs slaughtered in Quebec representing 34.5% of the total Canadian slaughter during the July through September 2011 period. Ontario facilities processed 1.3 million hogs (23.6%) and processing facilities in the province of Manitoba handled 1.1 million accounting for 20.6% of the Canadian total.
The number of hogs exported internationally in the third quarter declined for a fourth consecutive year. Over the most recent ten-year period, the third quarter hog exports peaked in 2007 at 2.5 million head, and then declined in each subsequent year.
The third quarter hog exports fell to 1.4 million head, 4.3% lower than the same quarter a year earlier and 42.6% lower than the third quarter peak observed in 2007. The current estimate of hogs exported into international markets is at the second lowest level for the third quarter since 2001.
Friday October 4, 2011/ Statistics Canada/ Canada.