Canadian Pork Council looks for price support as hog markets drift lower

(Source: Liquid Emulsion/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Although the majority of recent NAFTA 2.0 talks have been focused on Canada’s dairy farmers, the pork industry is feeling the pinch when it comes to prices.

As the Canadian Pork Council (CPC) points out in a recent news release, pigs are being sold at prices 30 per cent lower than this time last year, which is putting Canadian pork producers in an extraordinarily difficult financial position.

The reason? Canadian pork futures are based off the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), so Canadian prices are determined stateside, and those prices are lower because of the U.S. trade war with China and other trade woes.

Farmers in the U.S. were given a small break when President Donald Trump announced $12 billion dollars in aid, including US$8/per hog. Meanwhile, there’s been no compensation for Canadian farmers facing a steep decline in hog prices.

The CPC is now calling for there to be similar support for Canadian pork producers.

Rick Bergmann, CPC chair, says, “We’d like a level playing field, when we see in the U.S. that the federal government there is having a 12 billion dollar trade mitigation program which numerous entities are going to benefit from, including the pork sector there, then we finally say, ‘Well, how are we going to compete if the playing field is uneven?’ That’s why we’re wanting to have conversations with the federal ag minister and finance minister.”

As Canada is the third-largest supplier of pork to global markets, Bergmann says the time to act is sooner rather than later to help the producers who are currently feeling the pinch on hog prices.

Listen to RealAgriculture’s news lead, Jessika Guse, speak with Rick Bergmann in regards to what the CPC is seeing, and why they’re wanting financial support from the federal government.


Jessika Guse

Jessika Guse is RealAgriculture's newest field editor and news lead for RealAg Radio. She's been a reporter since 2015 and has covered a variety of topics including one of her favourites, agriculture! Although she's never grown up on the farm, she loves helping out and learning as much as she can when she visits her families heritage farm near Ebenezer, Sask. You can find Jessika on Twitter at @JessikaGuse


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