Canadian pig herd shows signs of recovery after disease outbreak
The total number of pigs in Canada is relatively stable compared to last year, according to Statistics Canada.
In July, the total pig herd reached 14.0 million head, just 5,000 head less than at the same point last year. This is the second consecutive year of decline for the Canadian pig herd.
The breeding herd shrunk more considerably, with 15,700 (1.3%) fewer animals on the ground this year compared to last. Despite this, the pig crop in the first half of the year actually increased, reaching 14.1 million head, 0.7% more than the same period last year.
Last year, an outbreak of porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus (PEDV) took its toll on fertility levels. As such, it is likely that sow fertility have recovered somewhat, improving sow productivity.
Slaughter pig (>53kg) numbers increase by 3% on the previous year. The outbreak of PEDV last year resulted in high losses, and so the number of slaughter pigs was considerably lower than the years prior to the outbreak. Nevertheless, an increase in slaughter pigs suggest that short term supplies should be better than last year.
In 2019, the FAS/Ottawa expect pork production to reach 1.94 million tonnes. While this is an increase (0.5%) compared to 2018, it still is below the production levels of before the outbreak of PEDV. Carcase weights are also anticipated to be slightly lighter than in 2018.