The Brandon Maple Leaf Foods plant has stopped exporting pork to China, due to positive cases of COVID-19 among workers.
Tyler Fulton is with Hams Marketing Services.
"While it's a really unfortunate development with the outbreak there, I think it's probably good leadership that they're being transparent and taking action about it. It's definitely not a good scenario for producers. Producers aren't paid based directly on where that product is exported to but long term it does have an impact on what they're paid."
Fulton says it's critical that the Brandon plant remains operational.
"It's a critical feature of western Canadian pork production. In particular, it's the largest plant in Canada. Quite simply if we go any number of days, we've got some very significant issues to address, not the least of which would be some animal health concerns."
He notes marketing challenges continue for producers.
"It's been a struggle all summer. U.S. hog prices, which is what Canadian prices are based off of, have been just among their lowest levels that we've seen for years and there is no sign of it breaking out of that anytime soon. We know that we're expecting bigger increases in production over the course of the next few months and we're already at very high levels of plant capacity utilization."
Fulton says we're moving from a period where prices are already very low, to a period where's there's higher supply and some very big concerns about the destination of the pork.