The best hope may be to convince the rest of the world of the need to revive and strengthen international institutions such as the World Trade Organization.  | REUTERS/Ruben Sprich photo

Canada must work to save international rules-based order

Our experience with superpower conflict during the Cold War with Russia does not give us much guidance in our new challenges with China. For all its military might and geopolitical meddling, Russia and its bloc of Eastern European satellite states were never much of an economic power. China, however, has become the second largest economy […] Read more

Combines load trucks with wheat last week during harvesting in a field near the village of Kamennobrodskaya in Russia’s Stavropol region. The country’s total wheat crop is forecast at 78 million tonnes, up from last year’s disappointing 71.7 million but still short of the bumper crop two years ago of 85.2 million. |  Reuters/Eduard Korniyenko photo

New crop wheat price forecast looks similar to 2018-19

As the crop year counts down to its final weeks, Canadian wheat farmers have seen good demand for their product at prices similar to the previous year. Looking ahead to the coming crop year, global production is expected to recover somewhat from the tight crop of 2018-29 when the European Union, Russia and Australia all […] Read more


Canada supplied 12 percent of China’s pork imports in 2018 and even more this year, which makes the government’s decision to stop all Canadian meat imports that much more surprising.  |  Jason Lee photo

China’s meat import move risks stoking consumer anger

China’s rejection of all Canadian meat is a stunning act considering forecasts that pork prices there will rise 70 percent or more in the coming months, topping records hit in 2016, as its hog herd staggers under the onslaught of African swine fever. Pork is by far the most important meat in China and accounts […] Read more

Huge question marks remain over the American corn crop because of terrible weather so far this growing season and forecasts of more to come, but true panic has yet to overwhelm the market.  |  Reuters/Daniel Acker photo

Summer brings better weather but concerns remain

With the welcome recent rain in much of the Prairies, the immediate threat of a drought disaster in large areas has been put to rest. Later on I’ll update the currency market, but first we must note the wet weather here might be the first sign of a major reversal in trends that have to […] Read more


Sluggish exports have prompted the U.S. Department of Agriculture to forecast an increase in soybean ending stocks to 1.07 billion bushels from the 990 million bu. it was expecting in May.  |  File photo

Market waits for news on soy acreage, yield and demand

Corn futures, the backbone of the grain market, last week hit the highest point since the summer of 2014. These were lifted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, reducing its estimate of corn seeded area and yield, as well as expectations that further cuts will come. Details of the report and speculation on how more […] Read more

Total canola exports in April were 534,100 tonnes, compared to 926,030 tonnes for the same month last year and 972,300 in 2017.  |  File photo

April trade figures show China has hurt canola exports

We are starting to get numbers on how several issues are affecting Canada-China trade now that Statistics Canada released the April trade numbers. That was the month when China’s restrictions on imports of Canadian canola fully hit home. It was also the month when China’s problems with African swine fever really began to affect its […] Read more

Much of the Prairies is going through one of the driest springs in the more than 100 years that Environment Canada has been keeping records.  |  File photo

Prairie drought adding to producers’ crop weather woes

Could this be the year that drives down those burdensome global grain stocks that keep crop prices low? Early signs indicate substantially reduced production but demand problems associated with African swine fever sweeping Asia and trade barriers also must be considered. In recent years there have been pockets of weather problems, but not large enough […] Read more


Haying was stalled and bales stranded on a farm near Alva, Okla. last week. Rain and flood waters continue to plague the American Midwest and central plains. In many areas crops remain half planted and growers are planning to shift from corn to soybeans, once they can return to the fields.  |  REUTERS/Gene Blevins photo

U.S. aid plan could influence planting decisions

The contrast between drought worries in Western Canada and rain-caused planting delays in the United States Midwest continued last week. A new topic also entered market discussion: the US$14.5 billion trade mitigation farm aid package and speculation how it would affect American farmers’ seeding plans. Normally, by the end of May, many U.S. farmers pack […] Read more

American farmers seed soybeans last May in Missouri. This year, seeding is off to a slow start in the U.S. Midwest because of bad weather.  |  REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton photo

Rain this week could sink U.S. farmers’ seeding plans

The news on agricultural trade was miserable last week with the United States and China ending talks and instituting new tariffs but prices of major grains all bounced up a little from recent lows. The reason was equally miserable news about planting delays in the U.S. due to wet, cold weather in the Midwest. While […] Read more