Following an across the board decline in hog numbers since this time last year, the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board reports western Canada's swine population has started to stabilize.

The latest figures from Statistics Canada show as of July 1 the total Canadian pig inventory fell by 2.3 percent while the breeding stock inventory fell by 4.8 percent since this time last year but since April 1 the breeding herd has increased slightly.

Saskatchewan Pork Development Board industry and policy analyst Mark Ferguson says while the year over year numbers have declined, things appear to have stabilized since the last quarter.

“I think what the numbers are showing is that it's clear there's going to be fewer animals available for slaughter,” says Ferguson. “This is leading to tighter supplies of hogs which in turn leads to tighter supplies of meat and hopefully in the end this is going to translate into higher prices for both meat and hogs -- a situation where both farmers and packers can be profitable.”

As of July 30, the stocks of pork in cold storage were at their lowest level since 2004 and they're down five percent since last month so the amount of pork we have in cold storage continues to come down, adds Ferguson. Also the cutout values which attempt to estimate the meat value of the carcass have hit record highs over the past couple of weeks.

Source: Saskatchewan Pork