Don’t believe anyone who says they are certain about tomorrow!
  



LeftField Commodity Research provides independent insight and analysis for Canadian grain, oilseed, pulse and other special crop markets. We produce value for clients by drawing together information sources, revealing what is important and presenting solid market insight. Our core business is crop market analysis and economic research projects.

At LeftField, we understand the power of knowledge and data to provide answers or provoke discussion. We sift through Canadian and global data sources, reports and analysis to boil it down for clients and improve their decision-making. We don’t pretend to have all the answers, but we provide insight to help improve clients’ bottom lines. If we don’t accomplish that, we’re not doing our job.


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notes from LeftField

  • Confessions of a Grain Market Analyst - Part 1

    I am not a prophet.

    When it comes to predicting the future for lentil or oat markets, I don’t get answers from on high. I chose the company name “LeftField” for a reason. In agriculture maybe more than any other business, things come out of left field. This year’s durum market was a good example. A lot of acres were planted in spring. We saw that coming. The wet summer started to provide hints that fusarium would be a problem. We didn’t predict that but began building that possibility into the outlook. But the heavy snow that hit the crop in November came out of left field. That was the last straw for the market. We could see some of these things coming, but not others. Rather than a prophet, maybe "tea leaf reader" is a better description.

  • The More Things Change...
    It would be amusing if it wasn't so annoying (and predictable). It seems many economists and analysts have forgotten a key lesson from Economics 101 - markets are cyclical. They act surprised that grain and oilseed markets can actually slide to levels seen only a few years ago, and may actually have a little more to go yet. Same thing applies to crude oil markets. What did they think would happen when farmers responded to the high price environment and the weather mostly cooperated? Hmm. But now that prices have dropped, they only see disaster and can't imagine there's another side to the cycle. Low prices will discourage production, encourage consumption and markets will eventually work their way higher. Unless the weather gets ugly, consumption usually takes a while to chew through stockpiles but eventually, it happens. It always does. Yes, even crude oil prices and the Canadian dollar will work their way higher. And when they do, these same analysts will claim we're in a new price paradigm (yet again).
  • Older Notes