Sunday November 23, 2014

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USDA's U.S./Canada hog reports cut to semi-annually

Report scheduled for Oct. 29 cancelled

A key source of data on hog industries in the U.S. and Canada has been reduced from quarterly to semi-annually, due to budget cuts at Statistics Canada, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The USDA is discontinuing its scheduled Oct. 29 United States and Canadian Hogs report because Statistics Canada has cut its own report on the Canadian hog industry.

USDA and StatsCan worked together to produce the joint report on hog and pig estimates, but StatsCan has cancelled some reports due to the Canadian government's broad spending cuts to control its deficit.

The next joint report on hog and pig estimates for the U.S. and Canada is scheduled for February.

Steve Meyer, president of Iowa-based Paragon Economics, said he tracks Canada's hog data every quarter, because at one time the industry had undergone a prolonged period of increased breeding herd and output, exporting much of that increase to the United States.

As the dollar strengthened, Canadian producers rapidly downsized their breeding herd, he said.

"That's pretty important information about the North American pork industry. I hate to see it go away because we'll only get an account of their production twice a year instead of four times. I think it's pretty important to the business and this is a loss for us for sure."

-- Reporting for Reuters by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg and Theopolis Waters in Chicago.


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