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Agriculture

Chinese canola decision weighs on prices, creates logistical headaches

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  • Canola prices have taken a hit in the wake of China’s decision to block certain Canadian imports, a move that has created a logistical headache for exporters reliant on the key overseas market.

    China’s foreign ministry said Wednesday that it is blocking imports from Richardson International Ltd. — one of Canada’s largest grain producers — due to fears of insect infestation, a day after the company confirmed its import permit had been revoked.

    Some have suggested the block may be the latest swipe against the Canadian government for arresting a top Chinese tech executive.

    “We’ve seen a huge drop off in canola prices, especially over the past couple of weeks,” said Bruce Burnett, director of weather and markets at Glacier FarmMedia.

    He called it a major drop for the commodity, which likely wouldn’t have happened without the backdrop of a deteriorating relationship between China and Canada. The fallout follows the arrest of Chinese tech giant Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver on Dec. 1, 2018.

    On Dec. 3, the May futures contract, which he noted was not the most actively traded at the time, closed at $496 per tonne. Wednesday afternoon, it was trading at about $456 — a roughly eight per cent drop. Exports to China had previously been expected to remain strong through most of the crop year, he said, with fairly solid prices.

    Canada supplies about 40 per cent of China’s canola imports. Canada exported about $3.6 billion worth of canola seed, oil and meal to China in 2017, according to the Canola Council of Canada’s most recent figures.

    The two countries have generally had a good relationship, said Brian Innes, vice-president of public affairs for the council, with Canada sending a stable supply of a high-quality product to feed growing Chinese demand, in part to feed its livestock. But issues like this latest permit revocation arise from time to time, he said.

    “It’s a concern for the whole industry because it injects uncertainty into the market,” said Innes.

    That sentiment makes it difficult for everyone in the supply chain and industry to make decisions as they’re thinking about the future, he said. Farmers, for example, would be concerned about when they’ll sell their current canola stores and what they’ll grow in the upcoming season.

    “So, all members of the canola value chain are paying very close attention because China’s a very important market for Canada.”

    Now that China has blocked Richardson’s shipments, the question becomes: what will happen to other companies, Burnett said.

    It’s possible others could have their permits revoked. But, unlike Winnipeg-based Richardson, other players in Canada tend to be part of large multinational organizations. Regina-based Viterra Inc., for example, is part of Switzerland-based Glencore International.

    While it’s hard to gauge what the Chinese government is thinking, it’s likely these companies will be very cautious, he said.

    “There’s large amounts of money involved here that the companies will be very wary of shipping cargoes that could be rejected or that type of thing.”

    They could try to turn to other markets that import Canadian canola, said Burnett, such as parts of Southeast Asia.

    “Can they wholly replace the demand that China represents?” he said. “That’s probably a hard thing to happen.”

    Al Mussel, research lead and founder of Agri-Food Economic Systems Inc., said it’s a convenient time for China to decrease the amount of canola it imports because the country is grappling with an outbreak of African Swine Fever, a fatal disease that targets pigs.

    That means China doesn’t need as much canola to feed its pig herd, said Mussell, adding that some estimate the country will drop its pork production by up to 20 per cent this year.

    Rick White, CEO of the Canadian Canola Growers Association, said the lower commodity price and blockage of some exports could have a detrimental impact on farmers.

    He was hopeful the two countries will work out a solution within a month or so, before the situation creates long-term effects such as farmers growing less canola or locking in this year’s crop at the current low price.

    “If they have legitimate concerns, let’s talk about them,” he said. “If they’re not legitimate concerns, then let’s figure out a way to get back on track and get the canola going there again.”

    Alberta Premier Rachel Notley issued a statement calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to “fight” for canola farmers and related jobs.

    “We are calling on Ottawa to stop its navel-gazing about its internal controversies and fight back,” she said, adding Alberta farmers and workers could lose hundreds of millions of dollars and up to 3,000 jobs if the issue is not resolved.

    Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland expressed concern about the situation on Tuesday and said the government is “working very, very hard with the Chinese government on this issue.”

    — With files from The Associated Press

    Follow @AleksSagan on Twitter.

    Aleksandra Sagan, The Canadian Press



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    Agriculture

    Watch: Viral video produced in Red Deer a finalist in 4 categories at Alberta’s top film awards!

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  • It just might be a breakthrough year for Nick Saik and Know Ideas Media.   Last summer Nick produced a short film called “Nut Milking Exposed” for his production company Know Ideas Media.   The short film was entertaining… VERY entertaining.  Nick set out to make a point that maybe certain liquids referred to as “milk” shouldn’t really be called milk.  But the script, the actor, the editing.. it was all so well done that the little video became a major viral success.

    So far “Nut Milking Exposed” has been seen over 35 million times!  That’s right 35,000,000 and counting!

    When Nick saw that viewers loved it, he entered “Nut Milking Exposed” in the 2019 Rosie Awards.  The Rosies are an annual award presentation by The Alberta Media Production Industries Association (AMPIA).  They are the top awards for the Alberta film making industry.  Nick entered four categories and is a finalist in every one of them!

    Here are the categories where Nick went 4 for 4 as a finalist!The Rosies will be held on Saturday, April 27, 2019 at Edmonton’s Shaw Conference Centre (9797 Jasper Ave).

    BEST DRAMATIC SHORT

    A Memento of Life – Bonita Schoenleber, Producers – VonitaVon Pictures

    Aeternitas – Gordie Haakstad & Chris Beauchamp, Producers, The Distillery Film Company

    Nut Milking: Exposed – Nick Saik & Tyler Duffy, Producers, Know Ideas Media

    Rivals – Derek Heisler, Producers, – H Studios

    Sunday Morning, Coming Down- Christina Beamish, Chase Gardiner & Chevi Rabbit, Producers – Revolutionary Waltzes / CGCinematography / Telus StoryHive

    The Suburbanight – Eva Colmers & Susie Moloney, Producers – No Problem Productions

     

    BEST DIRECTOR  (DRAMA UNDER 30 MINUTES)

    Derek Heisler – Rivals – H Studios

    Gordie Haakstad – Aeternitas – The Distillery Film Company

    John Cameron – Direct Energy – “New Moms” – META Productions

    Justin Kueber – Black and Blue – Guerrilla Motion Pictures

    Nick Saik –  Nut Milking: Exposed. – Know Ideas Media

    Reamonn Joshee – A Memento of Life – VonitaVon Pictures

    BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ALBERTA ACTOR

    Greg Lawson – Wynonna Earp – “I Fall to Pieces” – Seven24 Films

    Mark Meer – Necessary Evil – “Soul Purpose”  – Group of Rogues

    Samuel Duke – A Gentleman – DDG

    Shaun Johnston – Heartland – “A Place to Call Home” – Seven24 Films

    Sheldon Elter – Caution: May Contain Nuts – “Sexy Bigfoot Alien Chef” – Mosaic Entertainment

    Tyler Duffy – Nut Milking: Exposed – Know Ideas Media

     

    BEST EDITOR  (DRAMA UNDER 30 MINUTES)

    Carey Komadina & Sarah Taylor – Caution: May Contain Nuts – “Sexy Bigfoot Alien Chef’ – Mosaic Entertainment

    Nick Saik – Nut Milking: Exposed – Know Ideas Media

    Nina Staum – SGI – “A Knock at the Door” – Bamboo Shoots

    Sabir Alimzhan – Cruel – DDG

    Sarah Taylor – The Suburbanight – No Problem Productions

    Thomas Dudley – Vijitkul – “Golden Godess” – Leader Productions

     

    OK.. if you haven’t seen this video before you’re likely dying to see it now.  If you have it’s always worth another look and another laugh.   35 million views can’t be wrong!

    Todayville is proud to have partnered with Nick Saik and Know Ideas Media on a new platform focussed on agriculture.   Click here to see more of Nick’s work on Todayville Agriculture!

     


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    Agriculture

    Agriculture, trade ministers will testify in April on Chinese canola issue

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  • OTTAWA — A pair of federal cabinet ministers have been called on to testify before a parliamentary committee on China’s move to reject canola shipments from one of Canada’s largest grain producers.

    The House of Commons trade committee voted today to hear from Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and International Trade Minister Jim Carr on the Canada-China canola issue during the week of April 1.

    Beijing recently suspended canola imports from Richardson International Ltd. for what one Chinese official alleged was the detection of hazardous organisms in the company’s product.

    In an interview last week, Carr said Canada is pushing to solve the economically important matter — but he added that China had yet to provide evidence to back up the claims.

    China’s decision to block shipments of one of Canada’s key exports comes with the two countries locked in a diplomatic dispute related to the December arrest of Huawei senior executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver — where she’s now fighting extradition to the United States.

    China has since arrested Canadian citizens Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor on allegations of engaging in activities that have endangered Chinese national security — moves viewed as an effort to pressure Canada into releasing Meng.

    The Canadian Press


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    march, 2019

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