Trade Wars and Swine Disease Top of Mind for 2020

Farmscape for December 20, 2019

For 2020 the Chair of Manitoba Pork is looking forward to an end to the trade war between the United States and China that has depressed Canadian live hog prices.
Heading into the new year live hog prices and disease management will be top of mind among Manitoba's pork producers.
George Matheson, the Chair of Manitoba Pork, says what should have been a good year was a disappointment with the average price for the year likely to be lower than expected.

Clip-George Matheson-Manitoba Pork:
Pork producers pretty much right across Canada take the U.S. national price as their price.
Really what happens between the U.S. producers and their trading partners is most significant to Canadian producers in regards to price.
Unfortunately we did see a tariff war between China and the U.S. and, as a result, Manitoba suffered collateral damage.
Without that tariff war I think we would have really seen an escalation in prices because, due to ASF, there has been a significant world wide shortage of pork.
Number one, and it's really out of our control, is the end of the tariff wars between the U.S. and China which has caused collateral damage to the pork industry in Manitoba, that would be our number one hope so that we could be on a level playing field with the rest of the world and not have to be concerned with these outside pressures on our pork price which really should be quite strong considering the losses in the world due to ASF.

Matheson notes the number of PED cases in Manitoba in 2019 rose above that of 2017 creating a challenge and he suggests a different approach will be needed to eradicate the infection.
In terms of African Swine Fever, he says Manitoba is preparing to deal with the infection while continuing to work to keep it out of the country.
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Bruce Cochrane.

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