Canadian cattle herd to continue to shrink in 2023 - GAIN

Swine herd to continue contraction as well
calendar icon 2 May 2023
clock icon 1 minute read

The Canadian cattle herd will continue to contract in 2023, according to a recent USDA GAIN report. With a smaller cow herd and reductions in heifer retention the 2023 calf crop is expected to be smaller relative to 2022. 

Feed price volatility and drought concerns, coupled with a contracting US herd, will see live cattle import numbers fall once again. 

Beef production will be slightly lower on lower slaughter numbers, but heavier carcass weights will support continued optimization of beef output from a lesser number of animals. 

The Canadian swine herd is forecast to continue its contraction through 2023. Producers are exiting the industry and net gains in finishing space are not occurring. Expected reductions in 2023 slaughter capacity in Eastern Canada will support a smaller pig crop in 2023 and slaughter will also be reduced. 

Canadian pork exports are expected to decline once again in 2023, driven by reductions in slaughter and pork production. Canadian exporters will look to grow market share in the Indo-Pacific region for both beef and pork.

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