China’s corn needs likely to fall as ethanol plan slashed

What in the world is China going to buy from American farmers to live up to the bragging of United States President Donald Trump? China just put on the back burner a plan for a huge increase in ethanol use, so hopes for increased buying of U.S. biofuel or corn are dashed. China’s hog herd […] Read more

Drought and high temperatures have resulted in extensive forest fires in Indonesia. This one burns next to a palm oil plantation in Kapuas regency near Palangka Raya, Central Kalimantan province.  | REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

Palm oil leading the way higher for oilseed prices

Canola futures rallied in December, climbing to the upper level of the price range in place since the end of summer, but still lower than what they were at the same time last year and arguably disappointing considering the sharp rally in soybean oil. From the beginning of December to Jan. 3, March soy oil […] Read more

Russia has become a major force in global wheat markets, capturing almost 21 percent of the wheat market in the latest three years and exporting on average about 37 million tonnes.  |  REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin photo

Canadian producers hang on to wheat market share

Facing increasing competition from abroad and major system reorganization at home, Canada has done a good job of hanging on to its share of the global wheat market. That is a significant accomplishment, for as we leave behind the teens and head into the twenties of this still young century, Russia has come to dominate […] Read more

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Canola exporters appear to offer discounts to fill gap

Exporters are finding alternative buyers for canola not going to China this crop year, but some importers pay much less than others to get the product. We’ve reported that European countries are buying more because of reduced production there and bargain hunters such as Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates are increasing imports. There isn’t […] Read more

The Indian Pulses and Grains Association recently asked the central government to increase import quotas by 600,000 tonnes, including 200,000 tonnes each of urad, moong and yellow peas.  |  REUTERS/Amit Gupta photo

India may raise pulse imports following poor harvest

Concerns are rising in India about its 2019-20 pulse crops. The Western Producer has already noted that heavy rain and flooding at the end of the monsoon season damaged crops including pulses in some states. This raises the potential for India to import more pulses in 2020 but much depends on whether the government there […] Read more

Field production of hemp for CBD oil, cooking oil, protein, fibre and animal feed might soon become an important part of prairie agriculture.  |  File photo

Hemp’s sustainable success rises with use of whole plant

Prairie farmers need another profitable crop for their rotations to relieve the pressure on canola to pay the bills. Hemp might be that crop. Canada legalized the recreational use of cannabis a year ago, unleashing a torrent of investment and news coverage, but for broadacre farmers, that is important only in that it also added […] Read more

An increase in demand for plant protein burgers, such as this McDonald’s PLT burger with a Beyond Meat plant-based patty, is prompting food manufacturers to move into the market, but some Canadian businesses are doing so in the United States.  |  REUTERS/Moe Doiron photo

Bold action needed to revive food processing sector

Excitement rippled through Western Canada’s agricultural industry in recent years as pulse processing plants were announced and construction proceeded. But when it comes to high-value product manufacturing using pulse protein, such as veggie burgers, the investment has been mostly in the United States. This could be a further example of how Canada’s business, regulatory and […] Read more

Zhang Xiangjun, manager of New Hope Liuhe’s Binh Phuoc pig farm, shows off the farm’s air filtering systems as part of its biosecurity measures against African swine fever in Binh Phuoc, Vietnam.  |  REUTERS/Hallie Gu photo

China’s call for fair trade in pork rings hollow

Oh the irony. Last week at a meat conference held as part of the China International Import Expo in Shanghai, a Chinese government official pleaded to international meat exporters not to take advantage of the current severe pork shortage in the country by ratcheting up prices. A Chinese web-based news site called Sixth Tone quoted […] Read more

Canola has become less expensive relative to soybeans, which is helping to stimulate demand that is filling in for the reduction in Chinese buying.  |  Reuters photo

Rising oilseed market could spark modest canola rally

There are several factors that should be lifting canola prices but values so far are stubbornly flat. Exports are fairly good. Even with China’s restrictions on imports of Canadian canola, total canola exports in the first 12 weeks of the crop year are slightly ahead of last season, which was before China took issue with […] Read more

West Texas Intermediate crude has traded mostly between US$50 and $60 per barrel this year, while Brent crude has traded about $10 higher at $60-$70. Goldman Sachs recently said it expects Brent prices to hover near $60 a barrel into next year.  |  REUTERS/Todd Korol photo

Flat oil prices likely: good for fuel bills, bad for biodiesel

A surplus of production capacity looks set to keep crude oil prices mostly steady or perhaps a little lower into 2020, barring any geopolitical surprises or worse than expected global economic performance. That should provide stability for farmer’s diesel bills, but it also has implications for biofuel prices and the general outlook for commodity pricing. […] Read more