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Livestock estimates, July 1, 2016

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Released: 2016-08-18

On July 1, Canadian farmers had 13.2 million cattle on their farms, up 1.3% from July 1, 2015. This was the first year-over-year increase since July 2012. However, inventories were 21.8% below their peak level recorded in July 2005.

Hog producers reported 13.5 million hogs, up 1.9% from July 1, 2015, while the number of sheep fell 2.8% to 1.0 million head.

Cattle producers retained more breeding stock, as the number of beef heifers held for breeding on Canadian farms was up 4.5% compared with the same date a year earlier to 641,800 head. The number of beef cows also increased, up 0.3% to 3.8 million head. The inventory of calves on July 1 rose 3.9% to 4.3 million, the first year-over-year increase since July 2005. The number of feeder heifers was up 0.5%, while the number of steers fell 2.6% from July 1, 2015.

As of July 1, 81,465 farms reported inventories of cattle and calves, down 0.3% from July 1, 2015, and down 1.4% from the same date in 2014. Canadian farmers had 1.4 million dairy cows and heifers on their farms, up 0.4% from July 1, 2015.

Total disposition of cattle and calves rose 1.2%, driven by higher slaughter levels during the first half of 2016 compared with the same period in 2015. Slaughter increased 4.3% to 1.4 million head over the first six months of 2016. However, international exports decreased 10.6% to 433,700 during the first half of 2016 compared with the same period in 2015, as a result of lower exports of calves.

Canadian cattle prices continued to decline in the first half of 2016 from the peak levels seen in 2015. However, prices remained above the previous five-year average.

As of July 1, there were 7,035 hog farms in Canada, up 0.1% from the same date a year earlier. These farms reported 1.2 million sows and gilts, up 0.7% from July 1, 2015.

Canada exported 2.9 million hogs in the first half of 2016, down 0.1% from the same period in 2015. There was continued strong demand for hogs in the United States. According to the most recent US data, hog inventories reached their highest June 1 level in over 50 years, up 2.0% from June 1, 2015. Hog slaughter in the US was 1% higher in the first six months of 2016 compared with the same period in 2015.

Hog slaughter increased in Canada in the first six months of 2016, up 1.3% from the same period in 2015 to 10.6 million head.

The January-to-June 2016 pig crop was 14.4 million head, up 2.2% from the same period in 2015.

The sheep breeding herd decreased, as the number of ewes declined 2.1% and that of replacement lambs fell 4.2%. The number of market lambs was down 3.3% from July 1, 2015.

International exports of sheep rose to 8,300 head in the first six months of 2016, the highest level since the first half of 2003.

  Note to readers

Livestock estimates are available for Canada and the provinces as well as for the United States.

The July Livestock Survey, covering about 11,000 Canadian farms, was conducted from June 6 to June 19, 2016. Data were also extracted from administrative sources.

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