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Mac Marshall, vice-president of market intelligence with the U.S. Soybean Export Council, said oil used to account for 30 to 35 percent of the value of soybeans. These days it is closer to 40 to 45 percent and that is likely to remain the case for years to come. | USDA graphic

Soybean oil now drives crop price

Soybean values have always been driven by the meal side of the crush, but that relationship is changing, say analysts. “We’re going to be crushing for oil,” said Arlan Suderman, chief commodities economist with StoneX. “It seems strange to say that, but these are the changing dynamics.” Mac Marshall, vice-president of market intelligence with the […] Read more

The increase in ocean freight rates is largely being driven by China’s “buying spree” as it purchases large quantities of grain, coal and iron ore. | Reuters/Marcos Brindicci photo

Ocean freight rates double in a year

Farmers’ shipping costs expected to increase but not significantly as rates return to normal after sinking to historic lows

Ocean freight rates are steadily increasing and there is no end in sight, according to a report by United States Wheat Associates. Rates for Panamax and Supramax vessels are double what they were a year ago as world economies recover from the COVID pandemic. “There are factors that suggest rates will remain higher for some […] Read more

A report from the University of Guelph says business risk management programs have shown no signs of being drained. AgriInvest accounts have grown to $2.4 billion, AgriStability participation has dropped four percent and farm income is up 22 percent, with overall household farm income increasing nine percent. | Mike Sturk photo

Farm safety net overhaul unnecessary: report

Academics argue business risk management programs are working well and should not be reformed because of COVID-19


If farm groups are looking for arguments to back their calls for more pandemic-relief money and programs, they’d better not use a recent analysis by Alan Ker and Scott Biden of the University of Guelph. They conclude that business risk management programs did not fail during the pandemic’s first year, farmers overall did fine and […] Read more


Chinese veterinary institutes identified new strains of the deadly hog disease in November and December of 2020. Those strains spread to a large portion of the herd before being detected. | File photo

Observers report that China’s hog recovery has stalled

A resurgence of African swine fever in China has stalled the swine herd recovery that helped trigger the bull run in grain markets, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “Swine numbers are not likely to rebound until at least mid-2021,” the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service stated in a recent report. And that is assuming […] Read more

The inability to weigh the small risk of getting a blood clot from the AstraZeneca vaccine against the real risk of getting COVID is an example of similarly irrational decisions that are sometimes made in non-pandemic scenarios. | Reuters/Thilo Schmuelgen photo

Pandemic management has lessons for ag marketing

Sometimes risk analysis and risk management are literally life-and-death matters. That’s the situation with COVID-19 management. Public health officials are making decisions that help determine how many people get sick, die, lose jobs, fall behind in education, despair, go bankrupt, and a host of other impacts of the pandemic. For farmers, there is much to […] Read more


For now, the economists who matter, those who run the Canadian and U.S. central banks, think shortages and cost increases will be short term and will moderate as supply chains catch up with the faster-than-expected recovery. | Getty Images

Soaring cost of commodities sparks inflation worries

Watching the soaring price of crops, lumber, steel, copper and other commodities, it is hard to understand why there isn’t more official concern about inflation. Inflation has not been much of an issue since the 1980s but when it was, constantly rising prices and the high interest rates used to combat them were a terrible […] Read more

Hemp growers have seen revenue from the sale of hemp stalks or straw increase, which will further improve with a third processing facility to open in Canada. | File photo

Hemp sector prepares for a year of gains

Production is expected to increase 15 to 20 percent, and both conventional and organic prices have risen 20 percent

WINNIPEG — The hemp industry in Canada is set for a good year in 2021, according to Canadian Hemp Trade Association president Ted Haney. “It looks like we are looking at another 15 to 20 percent increase in seeded acres nationally, which should take us over the 100,000-acre level for sure,” Haney stated. He explained […] Read more

Demise of grain options pits hits traders as prices soar

CHICAGO, Ill. (Reuters) — American grain brokers and analysts on May 5 lamented CME Group Inc.’s decision to permanently end open-outcry options trading at a time when crop prices are surging, saying that pit traders could help navigate volatile markets. The owner of the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) on May 4 said it will […] Read more


WP livestock report

Hogs The U.S. national live price average for barrows and gilts was $88.94 May 7, up from $85.43 April 30. U.S. hogs averaged $113.70 on a carcass basis May 7, up from $112.49 April 30. The U.S. pork cutout was $113.79 per hundredweight May 7, up from $111.94 April 30. The estimated U.S. weekly slaughter […] Read more

Canfax report

This cattle market information is selected from the weekly report from Canfax, a division of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. More market information, analysis and statistics are available by becoming a Canfax subscriber by calling 403-275-5110 or at www.canfax.ca. Dressed sales surge stronger Alberta direct cattle sales saw active trade last week with weighted average prices […] Read more