Hog prices have been dropping in Canada, largely because of pork’s inclusion in the U.S.-China trade war.  |  File photo

Trade wars create collateral damage and few winners

It is frustrating to see that China’s decision to hit American pork with a 25 percent tariff is also depressing Canadian hog prices. The recent decline in the hog market is not all caused by the trade friction between the two super powers — an expanding American herd is also an influence — but the […] Read more

Farmers on the northern U.S. Plains are considering spring wheat over corn this spring.  |  File photo

U.S. farmers face greater uncertainty this spring

With huge political and trade uncertainty as well as tight cropping margins at the top of mind for American farmers, a long general trend of rising corn and soybean acreages could take a pause this year. Farmers on the northern U.S. Plains are considering spring wheat over corn this spring, and those in the southern […] Read more

Market struggles to identify size of China’s corn stockpile

More questions are being asked about the size of China’s usable corn stocks and how quickly they will be drawn down. The big story in the past two years was the Chinese government’s decisions to: stop price supports and move to a market orientation stop government buying and stockpiling create a 10 percent ethanol content […] Read more

Russian opportunities in Asia open to debate

Early projections call for another year of big crops in Russia and Ukraine. Coupled with large carry-in stocks, the grain available for export could rival the record smashing amount moving in the current crop year. Much has been written about the region’s growing dominance in global wheat trade, but the head of U.S. Wheat Associates […] Read more

Weather and politics driving crop markets at the moment

Argentina’s drought, dry soil in the American southern hard winder wheat zone, U.S. President Donald Trump’s tough trade talk and a mostly welcome dump of snow in the eastern Prairies dominated the market news. The U.S. Department of Agriculture updated its monthly supply and demand report last week, slashing Argentina’s soybean crop by seven million […] Read more

Crop prices rally on drought concerns

Dry weather in Argentina and in the southern U.S. Plains has turned up the heat in the grain market, and prices through February bubbled higher. The Argentina situation has the more immediate impact because the soybean and corn crops there are in yield setting mode and are advancing toward harvest, while the U.S. winter wheat […] Read more

Use export problem to boost domestic pulse consumption

Never let a crisis go to waste. These words, or something close to them, have been attributed to many, from Machiavelli to Winston Churchill to John F. Kennedy. The idea is that a crisis creates new opportunities that can make the future better. A fire may destroy a manufacturing plant, but when rebuilding you can […] Read more

South American weather will affect U.S. soy, corn seeding plans

Most analysts expect American farmers will reduce corn acres this spring and increase soybeans. The question is the magnitude of the shift. The outcome will affect the prices of most crops, including canola and wheat. If soybean acreage turns out even bigger than expected, it could weigh down 2018-19 oilseed prices. A key determinant to […] Read more

Crop market ignoring stocks volatility

The stock markets might be undergoing a correction, but the decline so far hasn’t hurt grain futures prices. I’ve been reading about how some analysts, notably Goldman Sachs, think commodities could be a big beneficiary from the decline in equities with the potential to lift prices, including agricultural product values. However, others disagree with that […] Read more

Troubled U.S. winter wheat crop could prompt spring rally

Kansas hard red winter wheat futures jumped higher by about US40 cents a bushel, or 10 percent, in the last week of January on continuing dry weather in the southern U.S. Plains and a weaker U.S. dollar. The rally did not extend to the Minneapolis spring wheat market, but the action in the winter wheat […] Read more