Decrease in Canadian pig herd
The latest figures from Statistics Canada show that the size of the Canadian pig herd on 1 January 2018 was 1% down compared to a year earlier, but it is still above 14 million head.
Within this, the breeding herd was stable alongside the number of piglets. This suggests sow productivity has also remained stable.
Nonetheless, the overall number of slaughter pigs still declined by 1%, with reports of disease challenges influencing herd numbers. The figures show that the number of sows farrowing in the second half of 2018 was down 2% compared to a year earlier. The pig crop over the same period was down 3%, indicating there was a period of poorer productivity perhaps related to the reported disease challenges. While the latest figures indicate the situation may have improved towards the end of the year, it remains to be seen whether difficulties re-emerge. This year so far, 6 cases of PEDv have been reported, which could also lead to challenges in the coming months.
Bethan Wilkins, Analyst
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