Canada Looks Set for Strong 2012

ANALYSIS - Canadian beef producers look set to have a prosperous 2012, with cow numbers increasing, export opportunities expanding and strong optimism in the industry, writes TheCattleSite editor, Charlotte Johnston.
calendar icon 23 February 2012
clock icon 2 minute read

Breeding herd set for growth

For the first time in seven years, the Canadian cattle herd has grown.

Whilst the inventory of beef cows fell by one per cent between 2011 and 2012, Statistics Canada reports that the 2012 inventory of beef replacement heifers increased 4.8 per cent in the Western provinces and increased one per cent in the East.

Overall, inventories of beef replacement heifers rose 4.3 per cent. This increase in replacement heifers indicates that producers are beginning to replenish the herd with younger cows.

Beef exports

With Canadian per capita consumption of beef down by 14 per cent over the past decade and no substantial growth expected in the future, the industry must look to exports.

Beginning in 2013, cattle exports should benefit from an expected revision of the US Country of Origin Labelling (COOL). Canadian beef net exports are projected to increase as cattle slaughter and average carcase weight are both expected to increase over the medium term.

In January, South Korea announced that it would remove a ban on Canadian beef imports, meaning that beef under 30 months of age can re-enter the South Korean market.

Canada and China have also recently reached an agreement which restores access to China for Canadian deboned beef derived from animals under thirty months of age.

Live exports

Peru announced this week that it would re-open doors to Canadian live cattle imports. The Canadian Beef Breeds Council (CBBC) and the Canadian Livestock Genetics Association (CLGA) estimate the market to be valued at more than C$2.5 million in 2012 for the Canadian cattle sector.

The Philippines will also now allow imports of Canadian live cattle into the country.

Farm incomes and confidence on a high

Optimism among Canadian beef producers has never been higher than it is now, with 79 per cent of producers agreeing that their farm or business will be better off five years from now.

Beef producers display optimism through their plans to expand and diversify their operations.

Also this week, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) said that 2011 had been a prosperous year for farmers, and reports a positive outlook for 2012.

Charlotte Johnston

Charlotte Johnston, Editor

Charlotte Johnston - Editor

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