Farmers should expect difficult trade climate to continue

It’s difficult to imagine the world falling back into the pre-2017 order. It’s easy to see the world trading order getting worse — much worse. That’s what I concluded from reading the Bank of Canada’s July monetary policy report and seeing its news conference afterward. It also highlighted to me the tough situation Canada and […] Read more

Central banks chained to the Promethean rock

Gun-shy governments have put too much responsibility onto central banks, and they're reaching the end of their strength

If Canada faces a combination of increasing prices and faltering economic growth, the Bank of Canada can’t do much to fix that killer combo. “In that moment you have a tradeoff between a slowing economy (and) rising unemployment, and rising inflation at the same time. Obviously monetary policy can’t buffer both of those,” said Stephen […] Read more

Although the decline is gradual, canola economics are worsening for most farmers, crop management experts said at an international conference.
 | Screencap via agribenchmark.org

Canola squeezed out of European farm fields

Canola is fading as a crop choice across most of Europe. Although the decline is gradual, canola economics are worsening for most farmers, crop management experts said at an international conference. “The margins that farmers were enjoying are now a lot less,” said Tom Arthey, an English farm consultant, during Agri Benchmark’s Global Cash Crop […] Read more


A farmer swaths canola in Russia’s Stavropol region in the spring of 2015. The country is expected to significantly increase production of the crop in the future.  |   Reuters/Eduard Korniyenko photo

Canola prospects look bright in Russia

There is much room for the country to expand production, and China’s dispute with Canada may provide further impetus

There’s lots of potential for Russia to boost canola production. Not only do Russian farmers have much room to improve their canola production results, but they are relatively close to the Chinese market. With Canada in China’s bad books these days, Russian farmers might find more opportunities than they expected in coming years. “It is […] Read more

Is Canada’s trade mess with China really a black swan event?

Market clichés are annoying. Regularly, a particular term will become popular, one that sums sums up a novel concept, and then people begin applying it to everything. In the last decade we’ve had “the new normal,” “bubble,” and “commodity bull market” go from crucial concepts understood by experts to throwaway terms used by every Tom, […] Read more


The potential for rising feed grain prices is good news for prairie barley growers, especially now that recent rain has eased the pressure on drought-threatened crops. The news for livestock is still not great.  |  File photo

Weather frays feed nerves

While grain growers have been anxiously gazing at the horizon hoping for rain, livestock feeders have been anxiously watching feed markets, fearing an out-of-control rally in corn prices. With rain hitting most of the Prairies in the past two weeks, western Canadian cattle and hog producers should rest easier about their ability to source feed, […] Read more

The Canadian Agricultural Food and Trade Alliance also wants political parties to commit to expand existing trade agreements and reach new ones.  |  File photo

CAFTA releases wish list for next election

Continuing support for the ‘rules-based international trading order’ is high on the list for Canada’s agricultural exporters

Canada’s agricultural exporters want Canadian political parties to re-affirm their support for the rules-based international trading system. In the Canadian Agricultural Food and Trade Alliance’s just-released summary of 2019 election issues, the coalition shows no signs of throwing in the towel on returning the world to the rule-based order of just a couple of years […] Read more

More veterinary experts are becoming confident that the African swine fever virus can be kept out of North American hog herds.  |  File photo

Hog industry split on extent of ASF threat

While some players are convinced African swine fever is inevitable in North America, others aren’t so sure

Is African swine fever inevitably going to infect North America’s swine herd? Experts were split on that during the World Hog Industry Digital Conference, with markets experts considerably more pessimistic than veterinary experts. “The question is which countries break first. You want to be last,” said Jim Long, president of Genesus, the Canada-based global swine […] Read more


China crisis will show what world really thinks of Canadian canola

How fungible is canola? We’re about to discover that this year. Canadian canola’s prospects still look poor due to the diplomatic standoff with China, but the situation doesn’t feel as dire as it was in March, when the Chinese blockade was imposed. Some of that is due to the recent rally in canola futures, which […] Read more

Markets not all doom and gloom, says federal economist

There’s a lot of silver lining those black clouds. That was the tenor of Peter Hall, chief economist of Export Development Canada, in his spring 2019 export market outlook session. If some of the gloom in today’s markets lifts, shining prospects for continued economic growth and greater demand lie ahead. “In our view, (the world […] Read more