U.S. hog processors and feeders are seeing very heavy imports of hogs and feeder pigs from Canada. Department of Agriculture Outlook Board Chairman Gerry Bange says the amount of imports is high enough to have an impact on U.S. pork production numbers and prices.
"We're expecting about 10.8 million of those animals to come in this year, which would be a record number," Bange says. "Evidently the slaughter plants in Canada are having various difficulties associated with labor and inefficiencies because of the smaller size of their plants."
Profits for Canadian hog producers are getting smaller due to the fact they have to import more high-cost feed from the U.S., so Bange says we're seeing a lot of those animals coming to the United States, which is resulting in a bigger pork production number for the U.S.
USDA estimates U.S. pork output is 5% more than 2007 and Canadian hog inventory is 6% less than last year.