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FCC Offers Support to Financially Battered Hog Producers

Farm Credit Canada is making special financial provisions available to hard-hit domestic hog producers. 

In a release late last week, the federal Crown corporation said it will consider additional short-term credit options, deferral of principal payments and/or other loan payment schedule amendments to reduce financial pressures on hog producers. FCC will also offer flexibility, and even a combination of options based on the individual needs of its customers, “since each farm financial situation is unique.” 

Hog sector customers who are experiencing cash flow pressures are encouraged to contact their FCC relationship manager or the FCC Customer Service Centre at 1-888-332-3301 as soon as possible to discuss their individual situation and options. 

The hog industry has faced numerous challenges in recent years, including the pandemic, labour shortages, increased input costs and higher interest rates, and packing facility closures. Just last week, Olymel announced it would shutter six hog barns in Western Canada, reducing its Prairie sow herd to 40,000 from 57,000. The same company also said in April that it would close a processing plant in Quebec. 

But while challenges abound in the meantime, FCC said the longer-term outlook for the Canadian hog industry remains positive. 

Demand for red meat is expected to be strong in the coming months, according to FCC’s Cattle and Hog Outlook Update, as barbecue season approaches in Canada. Pork has also been increasingly more affordable compared to other major proteins over the past few months, which could drive increased consumption. 

“The affordability of pork means that producers who are well positioned in the domestic market could benefit from increased demand in the coming year,” said J.P. Gervais, FCC’s chief economist. “The challenges in the hog sector won’t be resolved quickly, especially in (eastern Canada) with less slaughter capacity and reductions in the Quebec hog herds. 

“While 2023 will be difficult, there is positivity for 2024 and beyond with the new future profit-sharing options between Quebec processors and producers.” 

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