The forecast for U.S. year-end soybean stocks is ballooning to a record high because of that country’s trade war with China.  |  File photo

U.S. soy stocks rise while China swims in ocean of corn

There are several take-away messages from the November monthly supply and demand report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If you take China’s stocks out of the totals, global corn and wheat year-end stocks should shrink this year compared to last, providing support for grain prices. The November estimate of the U.S. soybean crop is […] Read more

Brazil’s controversial president-elect, Jair Bolsonaro, will likely create considerable uncertainty for a country that depends on trade.  |  REUTERS/Lucas Landau photo

Brazil’s new president sure to shake up agricultural giant

Brazil’s farmers are posting a record pace of soybean seeding this season even as they paused twice to vote in the country’s national election. News accounts say farmers generally favoured the candidate who won the race in a second round run-off vote, the conservative and controversial Jair Bolsonaro. At the end of October, farmers had […] Read more

A study that says climate change could double the price of beer is based on predictions that barley yields could fall three to 17 percent, but the minuscule amount of barley in a bottle of beer is worth only a few pennies.  |  Getty Images

Climate change and beer study sends wrong message

Reports on a study that says climate change could cause beer prices to double have been all over the news, science programs and late night comedy shows. Few things related to food grab people’s attention more than beer, except maybe bacon. With all the craft brewers around these days it’s easy for reporters to find […] Read more


Soybean and corn farmer Marc Kaiser points out features of one of his grain bins to a Chinese trade delegation near Norborne, Missouri, U.S., Aug. 28. Despite his efforts to make his products attractive to Chinese buyers, Kaiser’s soybeans are worth US$2.50 less per bushel than those of other countries in the Chinese market right now.  |  REUTERS/Dave Kaup photo

Grain exports down so far, but could soon jump

The trade war between the United States and China has had little impact on Canada’s grain exports so far. As of Sept. 23, the eighth week of the crop year, exports of all crops stood at a little more than 5.6 million tonnes, down from about 5.4 million at the same point last year, but […] Read more

Fewer U.S. soybeans sold early into the marketing-year might end up leaving fewer U.S. beans sold overall, which would be bad for all oilseeds, including canola.  |  Michael Raine photo

Can China do without soybeans and will it do it this year?

The United Sates Department of Agriculture surprised the market last week with yield forecasts for corn and soybeans that posted new records and were larger than expected. Corn futures fell particularly hard on the monthly report but soybean prices hung on, based on reports that the U.S. had reached out to China to resume talks […] Read more


The Canadian Pork Council has asked the federal government for help similar to what the U.S. government has given to producers to cushion the blow from its trade actions.  |  File photo

Canadian pork is collateral damage in trade battles

Canadian hog producers suffered this summer through no fault of their own and are asking the federal government for financial assistance. Hog futures and cash prices fell much more than the normal seasonal retracement following the usual spring rally. The main reason for the decline was the trade war the United States is fighting against […] Read more

The Argentine peso is among the emerging currencies that are plunging in value.  | REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci photo

Emerging market currency woes will affect grain trade

You’ve likely already heard about Turkey’s plunging currency problem and how that has the potential to hurt its ability to buy lentils from Canada. The wider worry is that Turkey’s problems could get international investors looking at other currencies around the world and start to sell them off, too. And while it is not a […] Read more

They may seem like a novelty now, but electric vehicles could quickly grow in number and significantly reduce the demand for gasoline and biofuel.  |  REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson photo

Electric vehicle revolution poses threat to biofuel

Several times on a recent vacation in Vancouver, sleek vehicles with an unfamiliar model badge would catch my eye. They turned out to be Teslas, electric cars made by the new company created by high-tech entrepreneur Elon Musk. You tend to see a lot more high-end vehicles in Vancouver than you do in Saskatchewan and […] Read more


Wheat crops are suffering in northern Europe, Australia and Canada.  |  File photo

Global wheat crop shrinks for first time in five years

The hot, dry weather slashing production prospects in much of northern Europe has helped the Minneapolis hard red wheat price to recover back to levels it traded at for much of the last crop year. However, to climb much higher would require help from a rally in other grains, and at least for now, that […] Read more

A woman wears a Make America Great Again cap as U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Great Falls, Montana, July 5. Trump’s hard line on trade has sparked retaliatory actions from many of the United States’ trading partners.  |  REUTERS/Joshua Roberts photo

U.S. tariff war could spark dangerous consequences

The much-threatened tariff lists are being implemented and I fear we don’t know how wide the impacts will be. American President Donald Trump’s hard, unreasonable line on trade has sparked retaliatory actions from Canada, China, Mexico and the European Union. A study by Adam Slater, an Oxford University economist, says that if all the tariff […] Read more