Category: Trade

Action needed to reopen Italy to Canadian durum: Cereals Canada

With the ink still drying on a trade agreement that was supposed to reduce barriers to trade, a protectionist measure has shut out one of Canada’s largest single product exports to Europe. Durum wheat shipments from Canada to Italy have been halted since October, shortly after the Italian government announced it was moving ahead with… Read more »

Trump revives U.S. agriculture’s CPTPP hopes, at no cost

President Donald Trump revived the U.S. agriculture industry’s hopes of participating in the trade deal now known as CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) on Thursday, but until there’s concrete action showing he’s serious, U.S. farmers and CPTPP member countries, including Canada, should not get too excited. The president is well aware that… Read more »

Dairy price study finds Canadians don’t pay more for milk

A former senior advisor for a Canadian trade minister has published a report that will raise some eyebrows and counter a common narrative surrounding Canadian dairy and the supply management system. The study, published last week by a new Ottawa-based trade firm called Export Action Global, found Canadians don’t pay more for comparable dairy products… Read more »

Sitting on the right side of the fence on a trade war with China

This week has been laced with trade threats, drama, and fear for agricultural commodity markets, all based on the possibility of a trade war between the U.S. and China. Most economists agree that though a trade war has yet to start, there is a serious flirtation with one. And no matter what President Trump tells… Read more »

Beef Market Update: Trade news and cold weather keeping folks up at night

Whether we’re talking calving or barbecuing, it’s not ideal when temperatures are 20 degrees below their seasonal normal. The delayed onset of spring is not doing ranchers any favours, with calves hitting the ground in difficult conditions this spring (if we can call it that). At the same time, with large cattle supplies hitting the… Read more »

HyLife completes hog plant expansion, driven by Japanese demand

HyLife Foods celebrated the expansion of its hog processing plant in Neepawa, MB, this week — an expansion that has been driven by growing demand for Canadian pork in Japan and China. The La Broquerie-based company has added 100,000 square feet to the facility, including new cutting floor space, a shipping/packaging area, and more cooling… Read more »

Agriculture commodities caught in China-U.S. tit-for-tat tariff threats

When you feel that you have nothing to lose, you are at your most dangerous. With China proposing steep tariffs on U.S. pork, soybeans, cotton, tobacco, frozen orange juice, and corn, the market is trying to determine the probability this all comes to fruition as the bluster heats up. When you’re already $500 Billion DOWN,… Read more »

Where could Ontario farmland prices go in 2018?

Ontario farmers continue to spend big money on farmland, especially in the southwest part of the province. According to the annual Southwestern Ontario Land Values report from Valco Consultants, the median price paid for an acre of farmland in this region of the province came in at $12,710 in 2017, an average increase of 9.7… Read more »

Is U.S. agriculture’s voice for trade with Canada falling on deaf ears?

Lobbying can be a repetitive and tiresome job, both in Ottawa and in Washington. Sometimes it can feel like your message is just not getting through to the government like you need it to. Such is the case, it can be said, regarding U.S. agriculture groups pressing its government on the benefits of NAFTA and trade… Read more »

Trump takes NAFTA hostage with threat of steel tariffs

We were warned early on by Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland that the NAFTA talks would be rocky. She was right. We are through seven rounds and more clouds hang over the talks than ever. With a Mexican election on July 1, and the fall U.S. midterms surely pushing talks into 2019, the U.S. President… Read more »

Canada launches trade talks with Mercosur South American trading bloc

After signing the CPTPP trade deal in Chile on Thursday, Canada’s trade minister flew to Paraguay to announce the launch of formal negotiations on a free trade deal with the Mercosur trade bloc on Friday morning. Mercosur’s current membership consists of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, making it the fourth largest trading bloc in the… Read more »

Trade minister promises to “proceed expeditiously” with ratifying CPTPP

Canada and ten other Pacific countries are officially signing the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) this afternoon in Santiago, Chile. This isn’t the first time Canada has signed a deal with the words “Trans-Pacific Partnership” in the name. The Liberal government also signed the original TPP in New Zealand in February 2016,… Read more »

As ships wait for grain, port building boom continues in Vancouver

While grain companies are investing in major upgrades to port facilities in Vancouver, the growing number of ships waiting on the West Coast shows it has been a challenge getting grain to those facilities this winter. Virtually all of the grain terminals in Vancouver are seeing expansion or new construction, to some degree, says Doug… Read more »

Focus on trade deficits is misguided: former USDA chief economist

A trade deficit is defined as the amount by which the value of a country’s imports exceeds the value of its exports. It’s a metric that U.S. President Donald Trump frequently refers to when explaining or tweeting about his positions on trade, whether referring to NAFTA, China, or the new tariffs on steel and aluminum…. Read more »

Trade and transportation top of mind at Wheat Growers meeting in DC

With NAFTA negotiations underway, talk of new tariffs, and the relationship between Canada and the U.S. at a critical juncture in its history, the U.S. capital was an appropriate setting for the Western Canadian Wheat Growers’ 48th annual convention this week. The current trade and transportation issues, which are tied together in driving the export-based… Read more »