Canadian pork exports increase slightly so far in 2021

Thursday, 3 June 2021

By Charlie Reeve

With an enhanced trade deal between the UK and Canada potentially on the horizon, we look at what is currently happening in Canada’s pork markets and exports.


Canada is a major net exporter of pork products globally. During Q1 2021, Canada exported 358,000 tonnes of pig meat (inc offal) globally, an increase of 2% on Q1 2020, according to Statistics Canada. This increase has been driven by rising demand from the US and the Philippines during the last year.

During Q1 2021, Canada exported 303,000 tonnes of fresh and frozen pork globally, an increase of 4% on Q1 2020.  Canada’s largest export destination is China, which accounted for 44% of total exports from Canada in 2020. However, during the first three months of 2021, volumes of fresh and frozen pork sent to China dropped back and accounted for only 30% of exports. The second-largest export destination is the US, which accounted for 20% of total exports during Q1 2021.

Canada has had some tariff free access for pork into the EU since CETA came into force in 2017. Similarly, the Canada-UK Trade Continuity Agreement, which came into force on 1 April, allows tariff-free access for about 5,000 tonnes of Canadian pork products this year (rising to nearly 6,000 in 2022). Canada has so far not made much use of the EU (or UK) quotas available, with technical barriers likely limiting the viability of trade. The details of any enhanced trade agreement we may reach with Canada in the future will determine whether trade volumes are likely to increase.


Farmgate prices in Canada averaged €168.70/100kg in week ended 24 May, according to the European Commission. Prices in Canada have been on a steady upwards trajectory since the start of the year, tightening the gap between Canadian and EU prices.

Prices in the US are currently high following a strong period of growth during the last five months. However, they have started to drop back slightly in more recent weeks. These high prices are likely to be attracting Canadian exports at present.


Canadian hog slaughter for the year to 22 May totalled 8.68 million head, an increase of 1.4% on the same period last year, according to CFIA. Increasing production in Canada is likely to create a larger exportable surplus of pork for the global markets.

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