U.S. hog slaughter nearing capacity, prices still falling

December hog futures prices dipped below US41.5 cents per pound last week, the lowest level since the fall of 2009 on a continuous chart. Our reporter Ed White had a story in the Sept. 22 paper about the most worrisome autumn for hog producers in 16 years. The hog herd in the United States has […] Read more


Feedlot closure is part of bigger economic picture

Livestock futures markets were slammed lower again last week with fed cattle and hogs each testing multi-year lows. There is just too much meat on the market — pork and beef. October live cattle futures fell to 98.900 cents per pound Sept. 30, the lowest point on a continuous chart since November 2010. Chicago October […] Read more


U.S. analysts consider potential for record yields

While many Canadian farmers wonder if they will get a break in the rainy weather long enough to harvest their crops, American analysts are raising their forecasts for U.S. corn and soybean production. Crops in the Midwest passed through the July heat wave in great shape and some analysts think there is potential for record-breaking […] Read more



Crop price rally could lose strength as weather improves

I would be surprised if the crop price rally of April and May can continue into June. Crop prices rallied as the market assessed the damage to soybeans in Argentina from the excessive rain in April and dry weather in Brazil’s corn growing region. Analysts now believe the rain slashed Argentina’s soybean crop by four […] Read more


Early spring livens up wheat market

A bullish reversal has occurred this week in wheat futures because concern about warm, dry weather in the southern U.S. Plains could pose a threat to the hard red winter wheat crop there. This does not mean sunshine and lollipops for the wheat market, but maybe the floor has been reached and better times are […] Read more



USDA forecasts keep outlook gloomy

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reminded us last week that the world appears set on a course to another year of comfortable supplies of major grains. For Canadian farmers, it means another year when it is critical to know costs of production, watch for the inevitable modest rallies that spring up during the seeding and […] Read more


Fixing oil glut would lift loonie, depress Canadian crop prices

I’ve written a fair amount recently on my assessment that stocks of wheat and canola could get fairly tight in Canada by the end of the crop year. Normally, that would support crop prices, but with the volatility of the value of the Canadian dollar, we have another factor to consider. Currency fluctuations take on […] Read more


Who’s right, who’s not on canola ending stocks

I keep seeing comments from private analysts who believe Statistics Canada’s December production report greatly over-estimated the size of the canola crop. However, the pace of exports and domestic use does not indicate worries about smaller supply. If we assume analysts are correct and assume the pace of disappearance continues unabated, then the year-end stocks […] Read more



Record canola demand offsets improved production estimates

There will be a lot more canola in Canada this marketing year than was expected this summer. However, demand is breaking records, so the supply might not be a burden on prices. Canola production will likely top 15 million tonnes, about a million tonnes more than expected when Statistics Canada surveyed in early September. Carry-in […] Read more


Statistics Canada, USDA must improve accuracy

A growing crop is a moving target that is hard to accurately measure. We reported last week that Statistics Canada’s July crop estimate, which is released in August, has under-reported the size of the canola crop compared to the final assessment in eight of the past nine years. Analyst Larry Weber had noted this discrepancy. […] Read more