The flow of Canadian pork and market hogs to the United States really picked up steam in the second and third quarter of last year, after the bovine spongiform encephalopathy case in Canada meant Canadian pork had to battle cheap beef domestically. Throw in a couple plant closures and a lot more market hogs and pork were coming to the U.S.

Victor Aideyan, Farms.com, says that situation may soon change. The slaughter capacity issues have largely been resolved with the Spring Hill slaughter plant back up and the DeBreton plant will soon be back up after the fire. Aideyan thinks there will be a sharp reduction of exports to the United States.

With unfavorable exchange rates having an effect on packer receipts the Canadian pork industry has had a rough eight months. Aideyan says that Canadian market hogs coming to the United States might be reduced as early as the second quarter Canadian hogs and pigs report. Aideyan adds we may see a reduction in the Canadian breeding herd by 2004 or 2005, because the industry has really been bitten in the last few months. It should be noted that the Canadian breeding herd has been steadily growing since the late 1990s and not even the 1998 price disaster forced liquidation of the Canadian breeding herd.