Category: Markets

Slow seeding jumpstarts prices — This week in the grain markets

Grain prices this week were mostly in the green as the market continues to weigh geopolitical risk versus weather risk (and thus, planting risk). And though planting is certainly behind in many areas of the major North American growing regions, it’s still early (relatively speaking). U.S seeding is well below behind the usual averages, and… Read more »

Corn School: How Ontario stacks up in the corn production world

Is corn growing greener beyond Ontario borders? How does corn profitability and cost of production in the province stack up with other growing regions around the world — from the U.S. to South America, Ukraine, and China? These are some of the questions Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs business analysis and cost… Read more »

Farmers keep a watchful eye on rising oil prices as planting begins

As farmers hit the field and the tractors start to roll, diesel prices are on the minds of farmers. The biggest driver of diesel prices is the price of oil, and it has been on a real run upwards in the last 52 weeks. In the last 52 weeks, crude oil is up 39 percent… Read more »

Behind the scenes of a StatsCan crop report

Statistics Canada’s crop reports are often subject to criticism, with analysts, traders and farmers questioning or downplaying the accuracy and relevance of the agency’s estimates. Participating in a StatsCan survey when the agency calls or emails you is technically mandatory under federal law, but the running joke is that farmers don’t provide accurate information to… Read more »

Have drought concerns trumped market signals in prairie seeding plans?

Statistics Canada surprised grain market analysts with higher-than-expected acreage estimates for wheat, durum, lentils and peas, and a much lower-than-expected number for canola, on Friday. Coming off a dry year in much of Western Canada in 2017, you can’t help but notice the crops that came in above expectations are crops we generally think of… Read more »

Farmers calling a bluff on trade disruptions, based on StatsCan seeding intention report

The issue: Taking a look at Friday’s StatsCan report, it looks like Canadian farmers are calling the bet on geopolitical trade disruptions. It appears farmers essentially see existing and potential trade barriers as a bluff worth calling in favour of other factors. Some examples: Durum – Even though there has not been a load of… Read more »

StatsCan delivers big surprises in first acreage estimates

Canadian farmers plan to seed far fewer acres of canola and much more wheat than what the market was expecting, according to Statistics Canada’s first acreage estimates for the 2018 growing season. The federal agency published its Principle Field Crop Areas report on Friday, based on a survey of about 11,600 farms between March 2 and… Read more »

Northgate facility provides an alternative to Canadian rail system

As the home of the only grain-handling facility in Canada that has direct, high-speed service from a U.S. railroad, the commodity logistics hub at Northgate, Saskatchewan, gives its owner a unique position in the Western Canadian grain industry — and a unique view of the current grain backlog. Opened in 2016, Ceres Global Ag’s facility,… Read more »

Planting progress concerns nothing to get excited about, yet

As of Sunday night only five percent of U.S. corn acres had been planted. That’s nine percent behind the five-year average and 10 percent behind last year at this time. This may have you thinking this is bullish for corn prices, right? However, the U.S. farmer, and Canadian alike, can plant at paces never seen… Read more »

Competitive for acres, exports — This week in the grain markets

Grain prices this week ended mixed as speculative players took profits off the table amidst growing weather and geopolitical risk. Delays in U.S. corn plantings and concerns about Chinese trade dominated the headlines. It’s still early, but just 3% of the U.S. corn crop was planted as of Sunday. Conditions this week weren’t great in… Read more »

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 »

Place your bets — This week in the grain markets

Grain markets were volatile this week with prices flip-flopping on what was more concerning — geopolitical risk or weather. Much less concerning were most of the largely market-anticipated USDA numbers. Some notable data-points from this week’s WASDE (World Agricultural Supply and Demands Estimates): Russia’s wheat exports raised by 1 MMT  to 38.5 million (a record);… Read more »

Playing chicken with a trade war — This week in the grain markets

Grain markets this week were extremely volatile as they digested all of the information thrown at them, particularly that out of Washington and Beijing. China proposed a 25% import tax on soybeans, which took the market by a huge surprise (and left many scratching their heads at how China plans to meet their feedstuff demand)…. 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 »

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 »