Canada's hog inventory fell almost 12 per cent from a year earlier as rising feed costs and low slaughter prices squeezed profit and forced farmers out of business, Statistics Canada said.
The nation's hog herd as of April 1 totalled 13 million head, the government agency said yesterday. About one-fifth of Canada's hog farmers left the industry in the year ended March 31 and many producers have reduced breeding herds.
"The hog industry in Canada is in a state of transition, as the feed costs and slaughter prices, which have been prevalent in the hog market for some time, have squeezed profit margins to the limit," the agency said.
Hog exports, mostly to the U.S., were 2.9 million in the first three months of 2008, up 26 per cent.