Canada’s First-half Pork Exports Reflect Absence from Russian Market


Canada’s first-half pork/pork variety meat exports totaled 499,788 metric tons (mt) valued at $1.22 billion, down 6 percent in volume and 25 percent in value from the same period last year. The decline in export value partly reflects the weaker Canadian dollar, which has been down an average of 12 percent versus the U.S. dollar this year.

Russia took 80,461 mt of Canadian pork in the first half of 2014, but the market closed in August of last year due to the embargo Russia imposed on most food imports from the EU, U.S., Canada, Australia and Norway. While Canada’s lack of access to the Russian market has not been completely offset by exports to other destinations, it certainly influenced results in other markets – particularly with regard to hams and other cuts formerly sent to Russia.

Canada’s first-half export volume to Mexico was up 25 percent to 45,714 mt, and June exports soared 37 percent to 8,387 mt. Bolstered in part by a weak Canadian dollar, Canada’s first-half exports to the United States were up 22 percent from a year ago to 197,437 mt. The currency advantage has also helped Canada displace U.S. pork in Australia, another large ham market, with Canada’s exports increasing 67 percent to 15,977 mt.

Other markets in which Canadian pork posted large first-half increases included Taiwan (23,439 mt, +60 percent), South Korea (20,869 mt, +28 percent), Chile (7,008 mt, up 130 percent), Trinidad and Tobago (2,662 mt, up 50 percent), Cuba (2,285, up 426 percent) and Peru (457 mt, up 256 percent). Exports were lower to Japan (86,891 mt, -6 percent), China (35,957 mt, -46 percent, but partially offset by growth to Hong Kong) and the Philippines (14,068 mt, -18 percent).

Canada’s pork imports were up 5 percent in the first half to 88,331 mt. This was driven by strong growth from the European Union (7,684 mt, +59 percent), though imports from the U.S. (79,997 mt, +2 percent) were also up slightly.

U.S. imports of Canadian hogs (through July 25) were up 11 percent to 3.06 million head, including a 7 percent increase in feeder pigs (2.37 million) and a large increase in direct-slaughter barrows and gilts (362,000, +62 percent). Canada’s hog slaughter totaled 11.47 million head, up 2.6 percent from a year ago.

Data sources: Global Trade Atlas and USDA Agricultural Marketing Service