Early 2017 Pork Production Much Lower Than Last Year

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2017 isn’t even a month old but Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada are reporting hog slaughter so far to be well back of last year’s pace.

While it is a small sample size, AAFC reports Canadian hog volumes at market to be down by nearly 80,000 head through the first two weeks of the year, a decline of 8.9 per cent.

Hog weights are also down as markets didn’t slow down much over the Christmas holidays.

Total pork production is down by 10,000 tonnes from a year ago, which is a drop of 10.6 per cent.

As a result, AAFC notes hog prices are up between 1 and 6 per cent across all provinces.

Ontario prices are up by 2.7 per cent on the year, while production here is down by 2.9 per cent.

Dennis Smith of Archer Financial Services in Chicago says the CME lean hog index continues to be strong.

He feels pork is trending higher than earlier calculations, as it seems to be that weekly hog slaughters — while still up more than 2 per cent from 2016 — are tapering off from the record-setting pace seen during the fall.