STATCAN: Canadian cattle numbers lowest since 1989

Feb 27, 2024

On January 1, 2024, Canadian cattle, hog and sheep inventories were down compared with the same date one year earlier.

The Canadian cattle herd fell to the lowest level since January 1, 1989. Record average producer prices of Canadian cattle and calves, drought conditions, and tight feed supply continued to put downward pressure on the cattle sector, and producers responded by sending breeding stock to feedlots.

Canadian hog inventories fell for the second consecutive year on January 1, 2024, hindered by rising feed costs, labour shortages, reduced processing capacity, and international market issues, especially in Eastern Canada.

On January 1, Canadian sheep inventories declined year over year for the first time since January 1, 2020. Average producer prices of slaughter lambs have weakened since the strong prices during 2021 and early 2022. Lower prices and increased feed costs have contributed to the decline of inventories in the sector.

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