From Statistics Canada
Cattle and hog inventories were up on July 1, compared with the previous year. According to the Statistics Canada report on Aug. 18, this was the second consecutive year-over-year increase for the cattle inventories. However, sheep inventories were down for the fifth year in a row.
On July 1, Canadian farmers had 13.0 million cattle on their farms, up 0.1% from July 1, 2016. Inventories were 23.3% below their peak level recorded in July 2005. In Ontario, the number was 1.7 million, up 1.2%.
Cattle producers retained slightly more breeding stock in 2017, as the number of beef heifers held for breeding on Canadian farms was up 0.6% to 673,200 head compared with the same date a year earlier. The number of beef cows increased 0.5% to 3.8 million head. The inventory of calves on July 1 increased 0.2% to 4.2 million. The number of feeder heifers decreased 5.0%, while the number of steers increased 0.9% from July 1, 2016.
As of July 1, 74,530 farms reported inventories of cattle and calves, down 1.5% from July 1, 2016 and down 6.6% from the same date in 2015. Canadian farmers had 1.4 million dairy cows and heifers on their farms, up 1.6% from July 1, 2016.
Total disposition of cattle and calves rose 1.5%, driven by higher cattle slaughter levels during the first half of 2017 compared with the same period in 2016. Total slaughter increased 6.4% to 1.6 million head over the first six months of 2017. However, international exports decreased 21.5% to 340,800 during the first half of 2017 compared with the same period in 2016, due to lower exports of both calves and cattle.
Canadian cattle prices are increasing after having dropped during the last six months of 2016. They have not returned to the historical high achieved in 2015, but have continued to remain above the average price for the past five years.
Hog producers reported 14.1 million hogs, up 2.1% from July 1, 2016, marking the fifth consecutive year-over-year increase. The hog inventory is 11.8% above July 1, 2012. As of July 1, there were 7,880 hog farms in Canada, an increase of 1.0% from the same date a year earlier. These farms reported 1.3 million sows and gilts, up 1.2% from July 1, 2016. In Ontario, the inventory was down 0.5% from last year at 3.4 million.
Canada exported 2.9 million hogs in the first half of 2017, up 2.0% from the same period in 2016.
Hog slaughter increased in Canada in the first six months of 2017, up 2.3% from the same period in 2016 to 10.9 million head.
The January-to-June 2017 pig crop was 14.9 million head, up 2.9% from the same period in 2016.
Canadian hog prices have been increasing on average during the first half of 2017, however prices remain variable and the five-year trend is flat.
The sheep breeding herd decreased, as the number of ewes declined 1.6% to 521,100 while replacement lambs were slightly down by 0.2%, to 86,900. The number of market lambs decreased 2.5% from July 1, 2016 to 401,700.
International exports of sheep decreased to 4,800 head in the first six months of 2017, a decrease of 42.2% from the same period in 2016.
Canadian lamb prices have increased in the first half of 2017 compared with prices from the same period in 2016.