Pork prices in Canada have plummeted
Pork producers in Canada are struggling to stay afloat during the global pandemic as farmers nationwide expect to lose millions of dollars.
According to the chair of the Canadian Pork Council, Rick Bergmann, the pig market has been devastated by the crisis, causing the market cost of Canadian hogs to free fall since the beginning of the month.
Canada’s pork producers are facing an unprecedented crisis as a result of COVID-19. The pandemic has put farm families and their livelihoods at risk and the potential for a sharp rise in food insecurity has never been greater. https://t.co/EOH2ocPgkE— CanadianPorkCouncil (@cdnpork) April 25, 2020
Due to a shortage of processed pork and rising consumer prices, market prices in Canada have dropped by at least 30 per cent since the beginning of the crisis, said Bergmann Thursday at an industry teleconference.
Canada's 7,000 hog producers are expected to lose between $30 and $50 for every hog they're slated to sell this year, equating to around $675 million dollars across the industry.
"Their market returns don't even cover the cost of operating the business," said Bergmann.
Despite an oversupply of live hogs, the shortages of pork in grocery stores may become more severe if hog farmers are forced to shutter farms.
Farms have now reportedly begun to euthanize market ready pigs waiting to be processed by plants, and young piglets, or isoweans, typically sold to the U.S., are now worth close to nothing in the market.
"As producers we cannot wait three months and keep them on our farm. They are growing. Buildings are not designed for this.”
The industry is now asking the federal government for financial assistance in the form of $20 cash payment per hog, or $500 million in emergency direct producer payments. The Federal government has yet to respond with specific industry aid.
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