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There's a growing optimism in the pork industry

The last few years have been challenging for the pork sector with higher interest rates, lower hog prices, global instability cutting into export demand, and higher feed prices. 

The General Manager for Manitoba Pork Cam Dahl says we are coming through that, adding that things are looking up for the pork industry.

"We're seeing support for demand, we are seeing a reduction in input costs. So things are looking much better now, than they were a couple of years ago."

More consumers have been turning to pork at the meat counter due to the increasing cost of food at the grocery store, and the fact that pork is less expensive than beef and chicken.

Farm Credit Canada's Deputy Chief Economist Desmond Sobool says we'll likely see that trend continue for a while.

"Over the next two years, I am very optimistic. We're seeing strength in hog prices, beef prices are still really high for the farmer and at the retail level. We're seeing a huge contraction in the beef herd in both Canada and the US over the past number of years - like decade-low levels. I think these prices are going to stay elevated for a couple of years because there's no incentive right now to rebuild the beef herd. So we're going to see strong beef prices over the next couple of years, which will support pork demand because of the price advantage pork would have over beef. "

He notes that with the demand for pork, increases in hog prices and lower feed costs is translating into some opportunities for better margins.

"We've seen feed costs come down significantly from the last few years. Feed costs are the one main cost that producers face, representing about 50 to 60 per cent of their overall total cost."

Analysts predict pork will continue to have an advantage at the retail market, due to the elevated beef prices at the grocery store, and the huge contraction happening in the beef herd both in Canada and the U-S.

Source : Pembinavalley online

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