Many market signals have been conflicting of late. Technicals, supply-and-demand fundamentals, historical patterns, intercrop price ratios, and trends have been sending signals that don’t easily fit together. | Reuters photo 

Strategies urged that provide both security and potential

This bull market in crops is a great laboratory of market signals. It’s been explosive and dramatic, surprising virtually everybody with its strength. And many of those signals have been conflicting. Technicals, supply-and-demand fundamentals, historical patterns, intercrop price ratios, and trends have been sending signals that don’t easily fit together. Mike Jubinville of MarketsFarm laid […] Read more

This next year could be the relief farmers need to repair the damage done to them by the markets and the weather. | Reuters photo

Crop market rally will come as a major relief for farmers

Enjoy this rally, grain farmers, you deserve it. The massive crop market rally that began in late summer will probably last at least until midsummer, and maybe all the way through the 2021-22 crop year. South American crops are struggling with the cancer of La Nina, many of the world’s crop stockpiles are falling, China […] Read more

Canada is in the rare situation of likely having better access to our former mother country than key competitors.  At least for a while. 
| Screencap via YouTube/Government of Canada

Trade opportunity with U.K. not one to be squandered

Canada might be able to steal a march into the United Kingdom’s sizable, wealthy and quality-conscious market. With the United States under a Joe Biden administration possibly ignoring the opportunity that Brexit opens to his country’s farmers and food companies, and the European Union running the chance of losing some access, Canada is in the […] Read more

Empty store shelves early on in the pandemic were one example of the lack of resiliency in the supply chain. The problem was eventually solved, but there are examples that would be more expensive to fix.  | File photo

Resiliency is a great idea, until you have to pay for it

Other than “unprecedented,” the term “resiliency” has been the biggest buzzword of the pandemic — at least in agriculture. I doubt I’ve taken part in a webinar, Zoom call or online press conference since March without the term being used prominently repeatedly. Resiliency is a hot concept right now, but what does it really mean? […] Read more

A food-insecure China will hopefully ease up on its belligerent attitude toward its trading partners when it realizes it doesn’t want to cut itself off from supplies of agricultural commodities from major exporters such as Canada.  |  Reuters/ Kim Kyung-Hoon photo

More self-interest in U.S., China would favour Canada

Canada’s best hope for better agricultural trade comes from the United States and China becoming more self-interested. That’s likely to happen in the U.S. now that Donald Trump appears to be heading for the political scrap heap, and we can hope it’ll happen as China recognizes the disaster its recent belligerent behaviour with so many […] Read more

Canadian farmers have found themselves on the front lines of the trade wars that have been breaking out with alarming regularity.  |  File photo

Canada struggles to redefine its role in new world order

What’s Canada’s situation in the world? That’s a tough question to answer these days. It ain’t what it used to be. The easiest thing in the world right now is to talk about the daunting challenges facing Canada, focusing on the complexities of the Canada-United States, Canada-China and Canada-European Union relationships. I hear a lot […] Read more

Harvest canola rally could pose threat to risk management

Harvest canola rally could pose threat to risk management

It’s great to see canola prices soar. Or rather, it’s great to see canola prices soar if you have canola and if you haven’t already priced it all at lower prices. The counter-seasonal rally is certainly an epic aberration from normal patterns to watch, and for those with unpriced canola, it’s an early Christmas present. […] Read more

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang wave during happier times between the two countries. The best approach to take now with China might be to not kowtow to the Asian powerhouse but also endeavour to allow the situation to cool and avoid provoking the dragon.  |  Reuters/Chris Wattie photo

Canada can do business with China despite the yelling

You might have noticed that China is tightening the screws on Australia, telling Chinese importers to avoid buying Australian cotton. You might have heard China’s ambassador to Canada last week seeming to threaten Canadians living in Hong Kong if Canada accepts political refugees from the former British colony. Did you notice that Canada’s exports to […] Read more

For farmers, options are a sadly neglected tool in marketing and risk management. | Getty Images

Options are neglected tool in managing marketing risk

Option contracts are getting a lot of attention these days — for all the wrong reasons. They have been massively used and abused, often to disastrous results, by the hordes of homebound, overconfident young men idled by the pandemic, who flocked to trading platforms like Robinhood to make overnight riches. Many of them put everything […] Read more