From Statistics Canada – Livestock estimates at Jan. 1, 2017
Cattle and hog inventories were up on January 1, 2017, compared with the previous year. However, Statistics Canada says the year-over-year sheep inventories were down for the fourth consecutive year.
Canadian farmers had 12.1 million cattle on their farms on January 1, up 0.2% from January 1, 2016. However, the inventory remained 19.2% below the peak levels of January 2005.
The number of beef heifers held for breeding on Canadian farms was down 1.8% year over year to 536,600 head. The inventory of calves on January 1 increased 0.4% to 4 million. The number of feeder heifers (+1.3%) also rose, while steer inventories were 0.9% higher compared with January 1, 2016. Canadian farmers had 1.4 million dairy cows and heifers on their farms, down 0.4% from January 1, 2016.
Total disposition of cattle and calves rose 0.3% in 2016 compared with 2015, driven by higher slaughter levels. Total slaughter numbers increased 5.3% from 2015 to 3.1 million head in 2016. However, international exports decreased 6.9% to 765,200, as a result of lower exports of calves. Demand for Canadian cattle may have been dampened by growth in the US cattle herd. The United States Department of Agriculture reported that the American cattle inventory grew 2% in 2016.
In Ontario, the year-over-year inventory was down 0.7% at 1.692 million head.
Canadian cattle prices continued to decline in 2016 from the peak levels seen in 2015. However, prices remained above the previous five-year average.
Hog producers reported 13.7 million hogs on January 1, up 1.6% from January 1, 2016, marking the fourth consecutive year-over-year increase. The hog inventory was 8.8% above January 1, 2013.
As of January 1, there were 7,220 hog farms in Canada, up 0.8% from the same date a year earlier. These farms reported 1.2 million sows and gilts, up 1.2% from January 1, 2016.
In Ontario, the year-over-year inventory was up 1.4% at 3.381 million.
Canada exported 5.7 million hogs in 2016, down 1.8% from 2015 and down 43% from the 2007 export peak. In 2016, domestic hog slaughter increased 0.3% from 2015 to 21.4 million head.
The July-to-December 2016 pig crop was 14.3 million, down 2.3% from the same period in 2015.
The number of sheep fell 1.4% to 814,600 head as farmers reduced herds. The sheep breeding herd decreased as the number of ewes declined 2.1% and replacement lambs were down 2.4%. The number of market lambs increased 1.0% from January 1, 2016.
In Ontario, the inventory was approximately 250,000, up 0.1%