REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Oct. 3, 2012) - Today, Farm Credit Canada (FCC) is offering a customer support program to its customers in the hog sector.
"The difficult hog market is a global issue that extends beyond Canada," said Barry Smith, FCC Vice-President of Western Ontario Operations. "Our commitment to agriculture is for the long-term, so we are dedicated to supporting the industry through good and challenging times."
"Many hog producers are facing significantly higher input costs and lower hog prices, and we want our customers to know that we recognize this and are here to support them," Smith added.
Dry conditions in parts of Ontario and Quebec, as well as drought in the U.S. Midwest during summer which affected nearly 90 per cent of that country's corn fields, has driven up feed prices by as much as 50 per cent. This is compounded by low hog prices brought on by producers having to eliminate or reduce the size of their herds, adding to an oversupply of pork.
"While many agriculture sectors are doing well, some hog producers are facing unprecedented losses, depending on the structure of the operation," Smith said. "Producers who grow their own feed or have other revenue streams from a diversified operation may be in a better position, but FCC is committed to looking at each case individually and assessing each one on its own merit."
Flexible solutions tailored to each situation serve as the cornerstone of FCC's customer support program. In this case, support means actions such as payment schedule adjustments or deferrals to help see customers through a short-term cash flow problem.
While FCC will be reaching out to all hog customers, customers are also encouraged to contact their FCC relationship manager or the FCC Customer Service Centre at 1-888-332-3301 as soon as possible to discuss their individual situation and options.
With revenues amounting to over three billion Canadian dollars, the pork sector accounts for 30 per cent of total livestock shipments and for 10 per cent of all farm cash receipts. Hog prices are expected to improve with stronger seasonal demand and reduced supply in the spring to summer of 2013, which should help improve margins. The hog sector represents approximately four per cent of FCC's $24 billion portfolio.
"This is a resilient industry. While there has been a reduction in hog farms during the past five years, there remain a substantial number of operators who are confronting the risks, costs and operational challenges," Smith said.
FCC's customer support program was offered to customers in Saskatchewan and Manitoba challenged by flooding and excessive moisture in 2010 and 2011, as well as customers across the country affected by the BSE, avian flu and drought over the past 10 years.
As Canada's leading agriculture lender, FCC is advancing the business of agriculture. With a healthy portfolio of $24 billion and 19 consecutive years of portfolio growth, FCC is strong and stable - committed to serving the industry through all cycles. FCC provides financing, insurance, software, learning programs and other business services to producers, agribusinesses and agri-food operations. FCC employees are passionate about agriculture and committed to the success of customers and the industry. As one of Imagine Canada's Caring Companies, FCC gives one per cent of its profits to charities and non-profit organizations. For more information, visit www.fcc.ca.