High Canadian dollar
Canadian hog prices track those in the United States, and the strong currency has driven up the price for foreign buyers.
Country of origin labelling
New segregation and labelling rules make the export of meat to the United States slower and expensive.
About 10 countries, including China and Russia, banned Canadian pork imports amid a 2009 outbreak of H1N1 flu, even though the virus is not passed by eating meat.
Dry weather in much of the United States in 2011 and 2012 drove up prices for corn and other crops fed to hogs. Farmers reduced their herd sizes to cuts costs.
The rise of the ethanol and biodiesel businesses has created a steady market for growers of corn and other grains and oil seeds, driving up prices of the main feed for livestock.
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