Fewer U.S. soybeans sold early into the marketing-year might end up leaving fewer U.S. beans sold overall, which would be bad for all oilseeds, including canola.  |  Michael Raine photo

Can China do without soybeans and will it do it this year?

The United Sates Department of Agriculture surprised the market last week with yield forecasts for corn and soybeans that posted new records and were larger than expected. Corn futures fell particularly hard on the monthly report but soybean prices hung on, based on reports that the U.S. had reached out to China to resume talks […] Read more

The Canadian Pork Council has asked the federal government for help similar to what the U.S. government has given to producers to cushion the blow from its trade actions.  |  File photo

Canadian pork is collateral damage in trade battles

Canadian hog producers suffered this summer through no fault of their own and are asking the federal government for financial assistance. Hog futures and cash prices fell much more than the normal seasonal retracement following the usual spring rally. The main reason for the decline was the trade war the United States is fighting against […] Read more

The Argentine peso is among the emerging currencies that are plunging in value.  | REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci photo

Emerging market currency woes will affect grain trade

You’ve likely already heard about Turkey’s plunging currency problem and how that has the potential to hurt its ability to buy lentils from Canada. The wider worry is that Turkey’s problems could get international investors looking at other currencies around the world and start to sell them off, too. And while it is not a […] Read more


They may seem like a novelty now, but electric vehicles could quickly grow in number and significantly reduce the demand for gasoline and biofuel.  |  REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson photo

Electric vehicle revolution poses threat to biofuel

Several times on a recent vacation in Vancouver, sleek vehicles with an unfamiliar model badge would catch my eye. They turned out to be Teslas, electric cars made by the new company created by high-tech entrepreneur Elon Musk. You tend to see a lot more high-end vehicles in Vancouver than you do in Saskatchewan and […] Read more

Swine fever outbreak in China complicates soybean trade with U.S.

Tensions in the oilseed market over the United States-China trade war eased a little last week on word that a Chinese trade negotiating delegation would visit the U.S. this month and reports that cargoes of soybeans delayed off China’s shore were finally being unloaded in port. But important questions remain: Will China and the Trump […] Read more


Wheat crops are suffering in northern Europe, Australia and Canada.  |  File photo

Global wheat crop shrinks for first time in five years

The hot, dry weather slashing production prospects in much of northern Europe has helped the Minneapolis hard red wheat price to recover back to levels it traded at for much of the last crop year. However, to climb much higher would require help from a rally in other grains, and at least for now, that […] Read more

The U.S.-China trade war and suffering crops in other parts of the world are creating export opportunities for Canada, but the railways must step up and ensure they can deliver when needed.  |  File photo

Railways must perform if Canada is to capture exports

With crops in Europe, the Black Sea region and Australia suffering from moisture stress this summer, there could be an enhanced export opportunity for North American crops this crop year. And with America’s export outlook darkened by the Trump administration’s bellicose attitude toward most of its trading partners, Canada has the potential to be a […] Read more

A woman wears a Make America Great Again cap as U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Great Falls, Montana, July 5. Trump’s hard line on trade has sparked retaliatory actions from many of the United States’ trading partners.  |  REUTERS/Joshua Roberts photo

U.S. tariff war could spark dangerous consequences

The much-threatened tariff lists are being implemented and I fear we don’t know how wide the impacts will be. American President Donald Trump’s hard, unreasonable line on trade has sparked retaliatory actions from Canada, China, Mexico and the European Union. A study by Adam Slater, an Oxford University economist, says that if all the tariff […] Read more


New gene editing methods, coupled with other technologies such as quantum computing and artificial intelligence, mean the pace of innovation could quicken to the point that it will become virtually impossible for regulation to keep up.  |  File photo

New technology will force rethink on GM regulations

The case of the unapproved genetically modified wheat plants showing up alongside an oil well access road in Alberta is baffling on many levels, but the reality of Japan halting Canadian wheat imports could not be more clear. It is also clear that the rapid advance of genetic science will make obsolete the legal frameworks […] Read more

Oilseed price decline stabilizes but uncertainty reigns

While the United States-China tariff war has cast a pall over the oilseed market, it looks like we are not facing a bottomless pit in the soybean market. And the canola market last week was doing better than holding its own, with the November contract showing a modest rally, supported by the falling Canadian dollar. […] Read more