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End to supply management now official U.S. NAFTA goal

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MEXICO CITY, Nov 17 (Reuters) — The Trump administration on Friday revised its negotiating objectives for revamping the North American Free Trade Agreement, largely to reflect the demands it has made in NAFTA talks on agriculture, intellectual property and investment. The revised objectives are now in line with U.S. proposals to eliminate Canada’s import tariffs on dairy, poultry and egg products and to allow more protections for seasonal U.S. produce that is sensitive to imports from Mexico. The U.S. Trade Representative’s office said it is keeping in place most of its NAFTA objectives, first published in July, including a first-ever goal of reducing U.S. trade…
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CN Rail on hiring spree as shipments surge

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By Rod Nickel and Allison Lampert WINNIPEG, Manitoba/MONTREAL, Nov. 17 (Reuters) - Canadian National Railway plans to extend a major hiring spree into next year as Canada’s biggest freight railroad scrambles to handle surging shipments and fill vacancies, a company official said on Friday. The hiring blitz, which has added 3,500 workers through this year and calls for at least 2,000 more in 2018, follows significant job cuts in 2015 and 2016 and reflects a resurgent economy and stiffer competition from Canadian Pacific Railway. The 5,500 new hires in Canada and the United States would represent nearly one-quarter of CN’s workforce, and include roughly 1,700 new…
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U.S. feedlot placements top expectations, more cattle in 2018

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By Theopolis Waters CHICAGO, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Ranchers in October put 10.2 percent more cattle into U.S. feedlots than the same period last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported on Friday. The result surpassed analysts' average prediction. It also was the highest for the month in six years, suggesting weaker cattle prices beginning this spring while faced with uncertain beef demand, analysts said. "Cattle numbers are going to be large, particularly during the second half of the year. But it's just a matter of ‘are we going to sell the meat?’ ," said U.S. Commodities President Don Roose. Less-costly feed, and increased supplies as heavier calves transition from…
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Canola futures edge up, export pace slows

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Canola futures edged higher on Friday and posted a modest $4.30 a tonne gain over the week. Soy meal led the market higher on Friday, but soy oil was barely changed. Soybeans and meal were supported by forecasts for growing dry areas in Argentina, but that was offset by forecast for rain in Brazil. The dry weather in Argentina raises fears that the developing La Nina will deliver a dry season to the world’s largest soybean meal exporter. Corn and wheat rose, mostly on short covering. Speculators hold a near record large short position. Talk that there might be new export sales coming was the trigger to cause speculators to unwind some short positions. CANOLA MOVEMENT…
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CME live cattle slip on softer cash, beef prices

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CHICAGO, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures on Thursday reversed some of Wednesday's gains, led by weaker cash and wholesale beef values, traders said. Some market participants tweaked positions before Friday's U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) monthly Cattle-On-Feed report. "We saw a small rally yesterday, and a steady opening today, that got sold because of tomorrow's report that's expected to be pretty bearish," said Midwest Marketing Solutions analyst Brian Hoops. December live cattle finished 0.650 cent per pound lower at 119.550 cents, and February ended down 0.625 cent to 125.125 cents. This week slaughter-ready, or cash, cattle in the…
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Canola dips as soy oil retreats

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Soy oil price movements continued to dominate the oilseed markets Thursday as it gave back some of Wednesday’s advance. Soy oil fell even though American crushers say the amount of oil squeezed from this year’s soybean crop is below normal. The National Oilseed Processors Association said said its members reported an oil yield of 11.54 pounds per bushel last month, down from 11.61 lb. in the same month last year and the lowest monthly yield since November 2015. Almost all crop futures fell on Thursday as the weekly export sale report from the USDA disappointed. Export sales of corn and soybeans this season are lagging the pace needed to reach the latest full-year export…
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Canadian flax prospects dimmed by China’s silk road

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WINNIPEG, Nov. 16 (CNS) – China’s construction of a new “silk road” connecting the country to Europe isn’t likely to be good news for Canadian flax exporters. For several years, Canada has been the main exporter of flax to China but that could likely change if Kazakhstan ever has a direct link to China. “We thought the Chinese market was ours, but now we could see both Russian and Kazak flax moving into China,” said Chuck Penner of Leftfield Commodity Research. Speaking at the Grain World Conference in Winnipeg on Nov. 15, Penner said the logistical barriers that had prevented Kazakhstan flax from getting to China were disappearing with construction of the new trade…
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Trade talks in a dicey situation: Andrew Coyne

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Winnipeg, Nov. 16 (CNS) – With Canada in the midst of negotiations for two trade agreements, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, trade concerns are getting muddled, according to National Post columnist Andrew Coyne, who spoke at Grain World in Winnipeg on Nov. 15. “We need to be conscious of diversifying our trade interests beyond just North America. It would be extremely foolish that we allow (TPP) to fail and particularly (if) we were an instrumental part of that failure,” he said. TPP is in a precarious position following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s failure to attend a negotiation talk in Japan earlier this week. Coyne is…
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EU soft wheat area might fall, durum steady

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PARIS, Nov. 16 (Reuters) - Difficult sowing conditions in northern Europe prompted consultancy Strategie Grains to cut its monthly estimate for the area sown with soft wheat for the 2018 crop, with farmers also put off by low prices. Strategie Grains on Thursday projected ongoing soft wheat sowings in the European Union would reach 23.5 million hectares, compared with the 23.8 million estimated last month and 23.7 million sown ahead of the 2017 harvest. "The 2018 harvest has been negatively affected by current low wheat prices and bad conditions at planting time in northern Europe (Scandinavia, Baltic States)," the consultancy said in its monthly report. "Ultimately, conditions did not…
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China’s COFCO seeks more Canadian canola

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By Rod Nickel WINNIPEG, Nov. 15 (Reuters) - State-owned Chinese agribusiness COFCO Corp. looks to buy 2.5 million tonnes of Canada's canola crop next year, a boost of more than one-third over its expected purchases this year as its Canadian office gets established, said the company's global head of softseeds on Wednesday. COFCO opened its Winnipeg, Man., Canadian trading office in late 2016. It buys canola from export companies at ports, and has no plans to build crushing plants or country elevators in Canada that would allow it to buy directly from farmers, said Felix Mueller, who is based in Geneva for COFCO. "So far things are working very well," Mueller said on the sidelines of…
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