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Future of trade in question under Trump

CRESTWOOD, Ky. — With President Donald Trump removing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and seeking to renegotiate and potentially leave the North American Free Trade Agreement, the outlook for trade relationships with the U.S. and its neighbors is unclear. While the expectation is not for all trade to cease, this move does point to potential roadblocks in export demand in the coming years.

Wheat

Wheat prices dropped from the highs of mid-January before taking back most of those losses last week. The current pace of wheat exports from the U.S. is exceeding the U.S. Department of Agriculture's forecast. The current projection for the 2016 to '17 crop year is for 975 million bushels, the strong sales in the past two months would point to 1,025 million bushels for exports. Supplies are plentiful, so this would not have a major impact on the balance sheet, if the forecast is adjusted in the coming months.

Durum

Durum prices have not changed from last week. There has been little new information on which the market could trade.

Canola

Canola markets have been following the soybean oil market, of late. Major weakness last week took prices below some technical triggers, leading to liquidation and depressed prices. The improved weather conditions in South America have been the catalyst for price declines.

Some areas have been to dry, while parts of Mato Grosso have gotten too much rain.

With the upcoming Statistics Canada report, many are expecting pressure as the report often tends to find larger stocks than the market anticipates.

Strength in fats markets in the U.S. during the end of 2016 can be traced back to biodiesel producers looking to capitalize on a tax credit that expired at the end of the year. Canola used as a feedstock was 9 percent of all fats in biodiesel production.

Look for slowing of biodiesel production in the first quarter on seasonal cut backs and the uncertainty of the tax credit being reinstated or a priority under the new administration.

Palm oil prices were under pressure from an outlook for quick growth in stocks during the summer. Yes, things are tight now and will remain so through the spring, but traders are expecting a major recovery in production once summer arrives.

Peas and lentils

The pulse market continues to monitor the planting progress in India. Farmers have seen an expansion in area with cooperative weather allowing for quick progress to be made.

Export news has been thin for Canadian pulses after the U.S. purchased lentils for food aid, last week.

Mustard and barley

Mustard and barley markets have been quiet. Until Statistics Canada releases its report, there is not much to trade on as the export market has not seen much action.

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