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Canadian producers feeling effects of global trade

Canadian producers feeling effects of global trade

Farmers are facing a challenging financial situation due to pork markets

 
Lauren Arva
Staff Writer
Farms.com
 
Canadian farmers are feeling financial strains caused by the global pork market.
 
Producers are selling pigs at prices that are 30 per cent lower than this time last year due to the uncertainty in the market, the Canadian Pork Council (CPC) said in a Thursday release.
 
The decrease in producers’ profits result from their position in a significantly larger U.S. market. The prices are based on American negotiations, and a “… fallout from trade disputes between the United States and key pork markets such as China, Mexico and Canada has intensified the normal seasonal decline in prices,” the release explains.
 
“There’s a couple of things involving trades that are happening,” Gary Stordy, director of government and corporate affairs for the CPC, told Farms.com today.
 
“Both Mexico and China have levied … retaliatory tariffs on US pork. While that seems like a United States situation, we’re an integrated market. We’re the best example of how successful NAFTA can be.”
 
The American government has acknowledged the effects of these disputes on its producers. Support programs, including an US$8 per hog ad hoc payment and a $12-billion trade mitigation package, are examples of efforts made by the US government to assist farmers.
 
Canadian producers are subject to the same market conditions, so they require the same amount of support from the federal and provincial governments.
 
The financial stress on producers is intensifying, said Rick Bergmann, Manitoba producer and chair of the Canadian Pork Council.
 
“We need to act and act quickly. I look forward to meeting with Minister MacAulay to discuss the situation as soon as possible,” he said in the release.
 
Canada is the third-largest supplier of pork to global markets, selling roughly 70 per cent of production to consumers globally. 
 
“In this case, it’s Canadian producers that are, really, the innocent victims of unfortunate circumstances,” Stordy said. 
 
National Pork Board and the Pork Checkoff, Des Moines, Iowa photo