Stronger flax prices might be around the corner as China shows interest in this year’s quality crop. |  File photo

Flax prices finally break long market silence

Flax prices are beginning to creep higher in Canada and that comes as no surprise to Harold Davis, author of Prairie Crop Charts. FOB prices jumped to $12.50 per bushel last week from $12 previously, breaking a long stretch of steady to lower prices since January. Davis knew better prices were on the horizon partly […] Read more

Prices for diesel and gasoline in Canada and the United States are “very unusual” this summer, says a petroleum industry consultant.  |  File photo

No summer sale at diesel pump

It’s been a strange summer for fuel prices. Pump prices for gasoline in Canada and the United States typically rise in the summer, while diesel prices fall. However, diesel prices have been flat in Western Canada this summer, and gasoline prices have fallen. As a result, there was a strange sight in July for drivers […] Read more

This pile of last year’s wheat crop covered with plastic sheets at a GrainCorp facility in Australia is emblematic of the generally held opinion about global wheat oversupply, but weather issues currently affecting Northern Hemisphere crops are creeping into market discussion, adding support to prices, especially for high protein wheat.  |  Reuters photo

Is a wheat rally on the horizon?

Dry conditions across the U.S. northern plains and spring seeding setbacks in Western Canada could boost prices

A developing drought in the United States northern plains, early signs of a low protein U.S. winter wheat crop and planting problems in Western Canada could spark a spring wheat price rally, say analysts. Jim Peterson, marketing director for the North Dakota Wheat Commission, says it has been hot and dry in Montana, western North […] Read more


Maltsters appear unconcerned by Canadian harvest problems. Australian and Black Sea product provide alternatives.  |  File photo

Brewers blasé about malting barley supply

Quality malting barley is difficult to find but rather than crying 
in their beer, some buyers are turning to lower quality crop

The western Canadian malting barley market has given nothing for farmers to smile about over the Christmas holidays. Instead of a hoped-for rally, the present weakness has reinforced worries that Canada’s crop no longer matters much in the global malting market. “It’s just kind of blah,” said Neil Townsend, chief analyst at FarmLink Marketing. “There […] Read more

A farmer feeds water to pigs at an enclosure in a pig farm in Liaocheng, Shandong province in 2015. An increase in Chinese hog production has major implications for the Canadian pork industry.
|  REUTERS/Stringer photo

Hog explosion threatens profits

The U.S. growth in production is not keeping pace with exports, and analyst warns of a price correction

CALGARY — China and the United States are both increasing hog production, and that has major implications for the Canadian pork industry, says an agricultural analyst. Brett Stuart, chief executive officer of Global AgriTrends in Denver, predicts that China will add 1.7 million tonnes of pork production next year and reduce its imports as a […] Read more


Weaker hog prices are on the way but many producers have already hedged some production at higher prices available earlier this year.  |  File photo

Storm looms for hog producers: analyst

The hog price outlook is dire, but most western Canadian farmers should be OK, says analyst Tyler Fulton. “We could see the writing on the wall,” said Fulton about why most of the independent hog producers Hams Marketing represents locked in fourth quarter prices that were much higher than today’s loss-making levels. “There was a […] Read more

Prices for flax aren’t expected to rise due to a big Black Sea crop and lacklustre demand.  |  File photo

Peas, lentils squeeze out flax acres

Flax growers should refrain from getting too bullish about harvesting the smallest crop since the Triffid era, say analysts. Statistics Canada estimates growers will produce 575,800 tonnes of the oilseed, which is 39 percent smaller than last year’s crop. It is only slightly larger than the crops were in the three years after Canada lost […] Read more

A drought in Malaysia and Indonesia hurt palm oil production, sending up soy oil prices. Those in turn carried canola prices higher.  |  D’Arce McMillan photo

Oil demand boosts canola price

Canola prices have climbed in recent weeks despite prospects of a big crop on the way. The oilseed has support from soybean oil, which in turn is being propped up by rising palm oil prices. In recent weeks, there has been a dramatic rebound in soy oil prices that had been on a steady downward […] Read more


Western Producer reporter Sean Pratt recently attended the DTN Ag Summit in Chicago, which features the latest in weather and market outlook information. | WP graphic by Michelle Houlden

VIDEO: Brace for low prices

CHICAGO, Ill. — Farmers should brace for lower prices next year, according to data from a leading industry analyst. Darin Newsom, senior analyst with DTN, said he expects U.S. corn, soybeans and wheat stocks to increase in 2016-17, which means lower prices for those commodities, as well as for almost every crop grown in Canada. […] Read more

Cattle sales showing the animals on offer via video are becoming more common. Early sale results show healthy cattle prices that continue to surprise. Here, prospective buyers at Balog Auction in Lethbridge consider their options Aug. 14.  |  Barb Glen photo

Hot prices at early cattle sale bode well for fall run

CHAIN LAKES, Alta. — Boom times continue for the Canadian cattle business and recent yearling sales indicate a hot fall market. It’s so hot that market analysts no longer make predictions. “I did say prices could go a little higher in 2015 but we really shot through the moon again,” said Brian Perillat of Canfax, […] Read more