Birthdays in the bin, corn stocks, and new crop bids — a grain market Q&A LIVE! with Neil Townsend


Is canaryseed the itchiest of the crops? Will StatsCan find more canola? Why are Amercian farmers so reactive to incentives but Canadian farmers less so?

These are just some of the questions posed during this RealAg LIVE! Q&A with Neil Townsend, of FarmLink Marketing Solutions. Listen/watch here, and check out the summary below:

  • There are some struggling areas out there for #WestCdnAg, still critical weather ahead — which could be both good and bad.  There are certainly some dry areas in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, but Alberta is struggling with excessive water in some areas.
  • What’s happening in other areas? Hot in Siberia, if you can believe it.
  • We are penciling in trend average yields now…but room for improvement, for sure, or a decline.
  • CANOLA! How are we doing for production volumes? Well, let’s maybe not find anymore canola…
  • Demand side isn’t all bleak, it’s improving.  41.6 bu/ac average yield is where it’s pegged right now
  • New crop pricing? There is some upside, but it’ll be regional and periodic.
  • Farmers should prepare for a similar year as the last few years, where trade moves in that $475 to $500 range, but $500 is such a tough number to get to and past
  • Crawl under the table news for corn! Ugh. Optimism has dimmed in the last few weeks, as the COVID-19 outbreak continues to roll — and that impacts overall demand. And adds uncertainty.
  • Not enough incremental demand to solve the U.S. corn problem. Best bet for mitigating circumstance, would be if China bought 20 to 25 million tonnes, not five, of U.S. corn
  • What the U.S. and China do impacts Canada directly and indirectly, so the Phase One deal really does matter
  • U.S. is corn/soy/wheat — if you can whittle down those stocks, you bump the world price. The wheat stocks are up, corn stocks are burdensome, that impacts Canadian prices.
  • On a more local level, any tonne of corn and soy that flows out of the U.S. could improve feed movement or prices in the west, and maybe buoy prices in Ontario.
  • If China buys three to five million dark northern spring wheat, that’s good news for Canada, for sure.
  • As corn goes, so goes the commodity complex, *heavy sigh*
  • Who hangs on tighter to tonnage, durum growers or canary growers? (Or are you Team Flax?)
  • There could be some real upside on chickpeas, because of tight supply globally
  • Is canaryseed the itchiest of the crops?
  • What about CWRS? Let’s talk Australia. La Nina could mean January forward in the Pacific Basin will be very competitive with Aussie product. It’s no No.1 wheat, though.
  • Forget bread baskets, what about basket cases? Four dysfunctional countries, Ukraine, Russia, Brazil, Argentina, whose ag sectors actually work, despite non-functional government
  • It doesn’t take much to derail optimism in some of these four unstable countries
  • Canadian farmers are looking to the U.S. more than the other way around, re: USMCA
  • Domestic processing of pulses: is Canada doing the right stuff to position ourselves long-term?
  • Using bins as a profit generator: timing the market across marketing years is not going to reward you that often, unfortunately. In general, a crop should be sold starting six months before the crop year and all gone by end of the crop year. Remember opportunity costs, and take the total farm approach.

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