Investing in commodities isn’t as wild as it once was

You don’t hear much about commodity investing these days. As I talked about last week in this space, long-term commodity futures investing has turned out to be a sucker’s bet, leading generally to long-term losses. But that doesn’t mean nothing’s going on in the world of commodity futures. In fact, the rapid evolution of commodity […] Read more

Cowboys, masked men, risk and mitigation

Risk minimization appears to be a challenging concept

Why not go all-in on stocks right now? After all, we’ve had a three month rally going on. Sure, you can say markets go up and down, and there’s a lot of downside risk, but what if stocks only go up? As newborn day trader David Portnoy told Fox Business about market bears and the […] Read more

The money is a package of loans from Agriculture Canada, Farm Credit Canada and Export Development Canada. | Twitter/@Pituraseeds photo

Plant protein finds federal funds

An extra $90 million in federal government money is flowing into the Merit Functional Foods plant protein facility in Winnipeg. It’s a show of support for agricultural science and innovation, federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said June 22. “We are creating a new domestic market for our farmers, we are investing in science and innovation […] Read more


The widespread growth of anti-trade sentiment has been a concern, but there is hope that the global economy will soon get back to normal.  |  Reuters/Mario Anzuoni photo

Traders see bright future for globalization

Representatives from European, American and Chinese grain trade interests hope protectionist tendencies will ease

A cautious but optimistic world grain trade hopes to get back to “normal” business soon and back to globalization. There have been shocks to many countries’ food systems and a rising tide of protectionism, but members of a panel at the International Grains Council’s annual meeting sounded confident. “Through COVID-19 we should deeply realize the […] Read more

Canadian exporters face stiff trade headwinds

China is using trade as part of its geopolitical policy, while the United States’ ‘America First’ position causes problems

Canadian farmers might feel battered and bruised by trading partners these days, but they’re actually lucky — in the long run, at least. “Canada won the geographic lottery,” said Jacob Shapiro, a geopolitics expert with Perch Perspectives, in a June 12 interview. “The challenges (today) compared to what other nations are facing? Canada’s doing fine […] Read more


Rules-based trade, yes, but Canada needs flexible policies too

The United States: Unreliable and undependable. China: Undependable and sometimes hostile. India: A mystery and a wild card. The rule-based, pro free-trade world: Shrinking and weak. How does Canada find a strategy to deal with that kind of a crazy, mixed-up world situation? That’ll be the challenge for Canada for the next decade, probably, as […] Read more

More interest in local food supplies and systems could create more interest in regional contracts.  |  Reuters/Agustin Marcarian photo

Market tools quickly adapt to COVID

Derivatives markets in grain continue to evolve as impacts of COVID-19 and the winds of protectionism buffet the global industry. Grain exchange officials from Europe and South America told the International Grains Council annual conference that they continue to develop new products and are modifying the products that the ever-changing industry could use. “It really […] Read more

The money is a package of loans from Agriculture Canada, Farm Credit Canada and Export Development Canada. | Twitter/@Pituraseeds photo

Plant protein plant plan finds federal funds

An extra $90 million in federal government money is flowing into the Merit Functional Foods plant protein plant in Winnipeg. It’s a show of support for agricultural science and innovation, federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said June 22. “We are creating a new domestic market for our farmers, we are investing in science and innovation […] Read more


Study warns against long-term commodity investments

Long-term passive holding of commodity futures does not earn a return, concludes a group of agricultural economists. It’s the reiteration of a conclusion gutsily made by Scott Irwin and Dwight Sanders in 2012 — at the very height of the long-term commodity bull market, when multitudes believed otherwise. “No-one wanted to hear what we were […] Read more

For a brief period, investors seemed to believe that holding long futures positions was generally going to make them money because they believed that the commodity values represented in futures contracts gained value as time went on.  |  Reuters photo

Long-term investment in commodity futures defies the obvious

Intelligent people can convince themselves to believe the silliest things. Some make themselves believe that wearing masks does nothing to minimize COVID-19 transmission. Others insist that wearing a bicycle helmet makes you more likely to get into an urban bike crash than not wearing one. And multitudes of supposedly smart-money people convinced themselves that investing […] Read more