The number of Canadian farms has declined for the second consecutive quarter, according to Statistics Canada’s latest report. It showed that on April 1, the inventory of hogs on farms was 14.6 million head. That’s down 0.7 percent from the beginning of the year, but up 1 percent from April 1, 2002.

Growth in the Canadian pork production industry has been slowing recently after years of expansion that averaged 5 percent annually.

Following price declines in the United States, Canadian hog prices have fallen 30 percent since thy peaked in the summer of 2001.

  In Canada, a record 5.8 million head have been slaughtered in each of the past two quarters, coinciding with additional capacity and a drop in the number of slaughter pigs exported. Shipments of slaughter pigs to the United States declined to 1.8 million head in 2002, the smallest volume since 1996.

The Canadian breeding herd stood at 1.55 million head up 2 percent from April 1, 2002. The market hogs over 20 kg were up 3.1 percent while the market hogs under 20 kg were down 0.2 percent from 2002.