TRADE MISSION TO CHINA
A Ministerial Trade Mission to China led by the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, took place in November. The mission included a group of Canadians from across the country working to build and expand markets for Canadian food and agricultural goods in China. Grain Farmers of Ontario was represented on the mission by Crosby Devitt, vice president of strategic development.
Several meetings in the cities of Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Beijing provided the opportunity to build on our strong Canadian reputation, advocate for open trade, and showcase the many reasons why Chinese customers should choose Canadian food and agricultural products. China is a growing market for Ontario grains, particularly soybeans. In 2016, over 600,000 tonnes of Ontario soybeans were exported to China, representing about a third of our exports. There is a growing interest in Canadian food grade soybeans in China, and there is great potential to grow this market. •
2018 MARCH CLASSIC
The 2018 March Classic is scheduled for Tuesday, March 20 at the London Convention Centre. Save the date and plan to attend — details on guest speakers, exhibitors, and conference registration will be posted at www.gfo.ca. A block of hotel rooms is available at the DoubleTree by Hilton at a discounted rate of $125/night. Go to www.gfo.ca for rate code information and a link to the hotel website.
The March Classic is the largest grain-focused conference in eastern Canada drawing upwards of 700 attendees from farms across Ontario, government, and industry. •
Grain Farmers of Ontario is developing another round of marketing seminars for farmer-members in February and March. Seminars will be offered covering a combination of futures, options, and technical analysis.
New locations are being planned to reach different parts of the province this year.
Tentative Locations include Dresden, Mount Forest, Peterborough, Kempville, North Bay, Ridgetown, Leamington, Orangeville, and St. Thomas.
Please check www.gfo.ca for details and registration information.
ONTARIO VARIETY TRIAL RESULTS
For corn, the Ontario Corn Committee (OCC) is recommending growers use extra caution interpreting the 2017 results because of the increased variability of the trials created by unusual weather. It is possible that the results from some trials will not be reported because the data from them cannot be considered reliable.
by Philip Shaw
On November 9, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)chimed in with their latest estimates of U.S. crop size. In a move that shocked the market, the USDA pegged national corn yields at 175.4 bushels/acre, which was above the high end of trade expectations. The USDA October estimate had been 171.8 bushels per acre. At the same time, the USDA didn’t move the needle on soybeans, coming in at 49.5 bushels per acre, the same as its October report. Futures prices for corn declined on the news.
In Ontario, the corn basis has declined in many locations under harvest pressure. The Canadian dollar gained over a full cent on December 1 after big job numbers were announced by Statistics Canada. This added to bearish basis pressure for both corn and soybeans. •