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Canada Mexico and USA flags

Lots at stake for U.S. agriculture amid Mexican, Canadian trade threats

With risks to U.S. soybean trade with China already in the air, trade threats from Mexico and Canada may be the last thing the U.S. agriculture industry wants to see. But that is precisely what happened on Thursday.

The United States fiercely angered its neighbors by proceeding with steel and aluminum tariffs against them despite earlier talks of possible exemptions. Unless the issue is resolved quickly, the impact on U.S. agriculture could worsen.

Canada and Mexico were the Nos. 1 and 3 importers of U.S. agricultural products by value in 2017, respectively. Both countries hit back with their own list of U.S. goods to target hours after the United States decided to impose tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union. Read more

China versus US flags

China retaliates, slaps duties on U.S. soybeans, planes; markets skid

By

Beijing/Washington | Reuters — China quickly hit back on Wednesday at Trump administration plans to slap tariffs on US$50 billion in Chinese goods, retaliating with a list of similar duties on key U.S. imports including soybeans, planes, cars, whiskey and chemicals.

The speed with which the trade struggle between Washington and Beijing is ratcheting up — the Chinese government took less than 11 hours to respond with its own measures — led to a sharp selloff in global stock markets and commodities.

Investors are wondering whether one of the worst trade disputes in many years could now turn into a full-scale trade war between the world’s two economic superpowers. Read more

Grain analyst warns of leaner years ahead for Ontario growers

By Blair Andrews, QMI Agency

The next few years will be leaner when it comes to grain prices, a market analyst for an international feed and grain company warned Thursday at the Chatham-Kent Farm Show.

Bruce Trotter based his sobering outlook on a few factors, including lower growth expectations for China and the ethanol industry.

Trotter, who works in Blenheim as the managing director for the Canadian branch of Dutch-based Cefetra, said the era from 2006 to 2011 was a time of rising land prices and better crop margins driven by bio-fuel mandates and very high growth in China.

But the mandated growth in ethanol and bio-diesel is over, and he described the most recent years as an “ethanol hangover.” Read more