Jon Driedger, Vice-President of LeftField Commodity Research says external influences have an enormous impact like the coronavirus and of course the ongoing trade challenges globally.
“It doesn't mean that the world would just stop trading tomorrow. But certainly, there's less of an appetite towards more free open trade and more of a tendency towards, you know, putting on tariffs, protecting the domestic markets and so forth. Agriculture is an exporting industry, particularly for us in Western Canada. So certainly, we feel that”
Ongoing trade challenges remain a key concern for Canadian farmers.
Shipments of peas into India have dropped off dramatically since they added significant tariffs in November of 2017.
Driedger says while exports have dropped off India is still an important market.
“For example, something like peas they've been taking incremental volumes. And so, where they used to be just our primary customer, our largest customer, now it's to the point where they're more of an incremental customer. You know that demand is shifted more so to China; but a huge market, the largest pulse consuming nation (India), the largest pulse producing nation, unfortunately, not a very large customer for Canadian pulses, at least relative to what they used to be anymore.”
He says China has actually picked up some slack left by India when it comes to Canadian pea exports, adding that while China is taking some Canola it’s nowhere near the volume they once did.