Concerns that U.S. market hog slaughter will pressure packing plant capacity has prompted lower prices for Canadian weanling pigs exported to the United States for finishing, says Manitoba Agriculture and Food. Canadian producers without U.S. contracts have had increased difficulty finding markets in recent weeks.

More Canadian producers report having trouble finding markets for their weanling pigs and getting contracts signed with U.S. feeding operations, because U.S. producers don't want to finish extra animals in the fourth quarter. Uncertainty about what market hog numbers might actually look like come fall, as well as the prospect of rising feed prices has more U.S. producers thinking twice. Profitibility is not penciling out.

A recent survey indicates that Canadian producers with long-term contracts are okay, but new contracts are difficult to obtain. It appears that low-live hog prices will continue into 2003, meaning that prices for Canadian weanling pigs will remain depressed.