One of Canada’s largest independent pork plants, Springhill Farms, indicated that it will lay off most of its workers, because of poor margins resulting from a strong Canadian dollar and lower pork sales due to abundant cheap beef. The plant normally slaughters 3,500 hogs per day, and those hogs will now move to the United States.

For January-May slaughter hog imports from Canada were down nearly 22 percent from the same period in 2002. This reduction amounts to about 9,400 head on average per week, say Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain, University of Missouri agricultural economists.

But the new packing plant data shows the United States may be getting about 17,000 more slaughter hogs per week from Canada this year than for the same period in 2002.

The addition of more hogs from Canada, may compound supplies that are already above expectations. Over the last month or so, slaughter has been more than 2 percent above expectations, based on preliminary data. However, Grimes and Plain say that getting another 17,000 hogs per week from Canada, would only make slaughter about 1.5 percent higher than expected from domestic supplies, based on the June Hogs and Pigs report.