2018 was a difficult year for soybean markets. The U.S.-China trade war triggered a $2.00-$2.50 per bushel reduction in the futures market and neither side appears willing to relent in their sanction tug-of-war.
In RealAgriculture’s final Soybean School episode of the 2018 season, we asked ag economist, market commentator, and farmer Philip Shaw for his take on the trade tussle and how it could impact Canadian farmers in 2019. Shaw says restoring China’s insatiable appetite for North American soybeans would help correct the demand equation, but there are complicating factors — Brazilian and Argentinian crops are coming to market and China could opt to purchase South American soys to meet its needs. (Story continues after video).
If Brazil and Argentina make big crops it will send bearish signals to markets, but if the crops run into trouble at harvest there could be some market excitement. The U.S. also has a 955 million bushel carryover that the market needs to contend with — that’s a real problem, says Shaw who notes that foreign exchange and the value of the Canadian dollar could really help Ontario farmers in 2019.
Shaw admits he doesn’t know where soybean markets will go, however, he says a good strategy for farmers is to immerse themselves in market intelligence and make sales where and when they are profitable and comfortable.
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