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Canadian agricultural outlook still positive

by 5m Editor
15 January 2019, at 12:00am

The Chief Agricultural economist with Farm Credit Canada says, despite anticipated tighter profit margins on agricultural commodities, the outlook for Canadian agriculture in 2019 looks positive.

2018 has been volatile and uncertain due in part, to the renegotiation of NAFTA and trade disputes between China and the United States.

J.P. Gervais, the Chief Agricultural Economist with Farm Credit Canada says 2018 farm income appears lower than 2017.

Mr Gervais says: "The number one thing that we have going for the ag market, and Canadian ag in general, is that we have a very strong demand for the commodities that we sell right now.

"If I think of all the different factors, I'm really thinking about how these particular trends can actually lower or weaken the demand that we face.

"One of the reasons why we have a very strong demand for Canadian commodities is the fact that the growth of the world economy in 2019 has been revised downward. This said, I'm still seeing a lot of good things.

"I'm still seeing disposable income in the places where they buy Canadian commodities is still going up and going up at a fairly strong pace so that's pretty good news.

"We have very strong demand in North America and in Canada for animal protein and for plant-based protein - we're still climbing in terms of the demand for plant-based proteins.

"Pulse producers also had a difficult 2018 because of trade tensions - with India in this case.

"The world economy is turning up and I think that's a good thing for us."

He acknowledges there are planned discussions between the US and China to solve their trade differences and discussions seem positive but any action aimed at lifting those ongoing tariffs or those due to be raised in the next couple of months have not been seen.

As reported by Bruce Cochrane for Farmscape.ca