Thursday, October 27, 2005

"Meanwhile, domestic slaughter has declined modestly this year."

I have developed an enthusiasm for Statistics Canada's daily reports.

The subject line comes from today's, in an article on Hog Inventories.

I try to convince myself that if I can understand everything in the report, it will make me much better informed in very valuable ways. I am still struggling with this line:
Prices for hogs weakened in 2005, even though anti-dumping duties were lifted following an April 6, 2005, negative determination by the International Trade Commission.
So let me try - someone thought we were dumping hogs and so applied duties (the US?); the ITC decided we were not, and the duties were dropped. Why should the prices increase? I guess we could get better prices as the buyers in the US would not have to pay the duties, and we would get some of the money that went to duties back. OK that makes sense. Maybe? (Hmm - how does this differ from softwood lumber?)

Even more fascinating is this tidbit:
Information (jointly published by Statistics Canada and the United States Department of Agriculture) indicates that the combined Canada-US hog inventories on September 1, 2005, rose marginally over the year to a record 76.4 million animals.
Now I would guess there are about 330 Million people in Canada plus the US (30 Million in Canada means 10 times that in the US roughly) - so there is one hog for every 4.5 people, roughly. That is a heck of a backlog of bacon and butterfly pork chops.


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