Canada’s January Pork Exports down Slightly; Beef Exports Higher


Canada’s pork/pork variety meat exports in January were down 1.5 percent from a year ago to 80,243 metric tons (mt). Export value fell 8 percent to $202.8 million, partially reflecting the weaker Canadian dollar. Exports increased to the United States (34,431 mt, +32 percent) and Mexico (7,954 mt, +26 percent) and were sharply higher to Korea (3,292 mt, +108 percent), Australia (2,998 mt, +281 percent) and Hong Kong (2,203 mt, +146 percent). However, this did not fully offset the absence of exports to Russia, which totaled 10,740 mt in January 2014, and lower volumes for Japan (12,780 mt, -9 percent) and China (7,206 mt, -31 percent).

Canada’s pork imports were up about 5 percent to 14,263 mt, with a slight increase from the United States (13,084 mt) and a doubling of imports from the EU (1,066 mt). U.S. net imports from Canada doubled year-over-year to 18,622 mt.

From Jan. 1 through Feb. 21, U.S. imports of Canadian hogs were 757,813 head, up 9 percent. Feeders increased only 2 percent to 580,000 head, but slaughter barrows and gilts doubled to 95,983 head.

Canada’s hog inventory on Jan. 1 was 13.2 million head, up 2 percent year-over and 4 percent higher than in January 2013. However, inventory was still down 13 percent from the 2006 peak. The breeding herd (1.22 million head) was up slightly from a year ago and up 1 percent from January 2013. Market hog inventory (11.9 million head) was up 2 percent year-over-year and 5 percent higher than in January 2013.


Canadian beef/beef variety meat exports had a strong January, with volume up nearly 20 percent to 25,578 mt. Exports were larger to the United States (18,762 mt, +21 percent), Mexico (2,159 mt, +15 percent), Japan (1,305 mt, +67 percent; chilled exports doubled to 330 mt), China (930 mt, +57 percent) and Korea (394 mt, up from just 31 mt last year). Exports were lower for Hong Kong (1,202 mt, -31 percent).

These results do not reflect any impact from Canada’s recent classical BSE case, which was announced Feb. 11. China, South Korea, Taiwan, Peru, Russia and Belarus have suspended imports of Canadian beef. In 2014, these markets accounted for about 4.5 percent of Canada’s total beef export volume and 4 percent of its export value.

Canada’s January beef imports were up 16 percent to 18,753 mt as it continued to pull large volumes from Uruguay (5,881 mt, +411 percent), offsetting smaller imports from the other major suppliers including the United States (9,917 mt, -13 percent), Australia (1,941 mt, -16 percent) and New Zealand (942 mt, -15 percent). U.S. net imports of beef from Canada were 8,514 mt, up 166 percent from a year ago.

U.S. imports of Canadian cattle were 144,268 head, down 19 percent. Imports of direct slaughter fed cattle (27,961 head, -48 percent) and slaughter cows (37,671 head, -30 percent) declined significantly, while feeder cattle imports increased 20 percent to 66,081 head.

Canada’s cattle inventory on Jan. 1 was 11.9 million head, down 2 percent year-over-year and down 20 percent from its 2005 peak, following BSE-related border closures. The January inventory included:

  • Cows and heifers that have calved: 4.78 million head, -2 percent
  • Beef replacement heifers: 531,000 head, -1 percent
  • Milk replacements: 444,600, steady
  • Other heifers: 916,000 head, -5 percent
  • Steers older than one year: 1.179 million head, -5 percent
  • All calves less than one year old: 3.85 million head, -3 percent

This indicates continued tight cattle supplies in Canada, with exports of live cattle to the United States increasing last year as producers took advantage of high U.S. prices rather than retaining heifers for herd rebuilding.

Sources: Global Trade Atlas and USDA-FAS, AMS and NASS