International canola values are on the rise, including the Rotterdam price, which has fully recovered from the selloff sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic, and on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange, where the crop recently traded at more than US$1,200 per tonne.  |  File photo

Veg oil rally gives canola much welcomed momentum

November canola futures broke above technical resistance as July came to an end, supported by strong vegetable oil markets, strong sales of United States new crop soybeans and continuing crusher and exporters demand for canola. It would be good to see the contract hit that nice round $500 a tonne mark, a level not reached […] Read more

Palm oil and crude petroleum prices provided support for broadacre oilseed markets as they bounced back from pandemic lows, they but those supports appear to have stalled, awaiting further improvement in the global economy.  |  File photo

Palm and crude’s oilseed support might have plateaued

There is potential for strong canola yields this year if the weather holds and the same can be said of United States soybean yields and yet oilseed futures edged a little higher last week. The most obvious reason for the modest price strength was the strong export sales of U.S. soybeans to China during the […] Read more

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden visits a metal works plant in Pennsylvania earlier this month. The former vice-president promises to end the tariff war with China and repair trade relations with allies.  |  Reuters/Tom Brenner photo

Biden would change trade policy if elected president

Much can happen before the November United States presidential election but at this point the vast majority of polls show a win for Joe Biden so let’s peak into what that might mean for agriculture on both sides of the border. Biden’s campaign website has a page devoted to the Democratic nominee’s plan for rural […] Read more


The Saskatchewan government has made irrigation a key focus of its agricultural vision, but it will also require a competitive tax and regulatory regime, a qualified labour pool, improved transportation , adequate support for technology development and improved trade infrastructure.  |  File photo

Business climate as vital as water in irrigation success

Water is a necessary, but not sufficient resource to make the proposed $4 billion expansion of Lake Diefenbaker’s irrigation area a success. The stable water resource and the increased agricultural output it should produce must be the carrot that attracts investment into value-added processing that will multiply the economic activity that generates jobs, spin-off enterprises, […] Read more

Canadian ag exports benefit from COVID disruptions

May was an excellent month for Canadian agricultural exports. COVID-19 hammered the economy in Canada and around the world, upending many supply chains and hurting much but also creating opportunities. For example, Canadian exports of pork, beef and poultry reached a little more than $800 million, marking a one month record that was almost 19 […] Read more


Farms in Australia are recovering from a long, hard drought. As a result they will be returning to the ag exports market this year. Sheep are seen on a farm following heavy rains near the drought-affected town of Tamworth in New South Wales, Australia earlier this year.  |   Reuters/Loren Elliott photo

Good weather, potentially poorer prices during recovery

While crop prices are weighed down by favourable prospects so far for global production, there are pockets of trouble providing hope for modest price support in certain commodities. European production in particular is struggling, raising hopes for another year of strong imports of Canadian canola, but on the global scale those troubles are balanced out […] Read more

Opportunities for Canadian agricultural products are expanding as the world deals with supply chain disruptions. A health worker checks the temperature of a labourer arriving atop a trailer of wheat at a wholesale grain market in Chandigarh, India.  |   Reuters/Ajay Verma photo

Trade issues frustrating but Canada well positioned

It is irritating when a trade partner puts up a barrier we think is unjust, blocking what was a lucrative market. And we get frustrated with our government’s inability to get the trade partner to change their minds. Current examples are China’s restrictions on Canada’s canola, India’s restrictions regarding fumigation of pulse crops, Italy’s country-of-origin […] Read more

Retail meat prices should start to fall as supply disruptions are fixed.  |  File photo

Slaughter is recovering but supply chain still adjusting

The livestock slaughter pace in Canada and the United States is recovering from COVID-19 temporary closures and slowdowns, but the effect on the supply chain and prices will take time to get back to normal. COVID was a devastating experience for the meat sector, but it is amazing that plant operators and workers have adjusted […] Read more


The flight to the safety of the U.S. dollar that occurred in currency markets in mid-March because of disruptions caused by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic is starting to ease.  |  Reuters/Dado Ruvic illustration

Currencies rebalance as COVID chaos shifts to control

The worst of the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 shutdowns appears to be behind us and equity markets, oil prices and the Canadian dollar are recovering from the lows hit in March. Restrictions on public gatherings and on business are easing and investors hope that people will start spending again, although likely not at […] Read more

Canola trade to China remains severely constrained, but exports of the oilseed to the Asian country in March were the largest since December 2018.  |  File photo

Canada-China ag trade better but remains precarious

Canada’s export agriculture sector held its breath last week, worried that China’s increasingly volatile government would use trade to again strike at this country after a British Columbia Superior Court judge allowed Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case to continue. As this column was written May 29, China had so far angrily denounced the court’s […] Read more