LeftField Commodity Research provides market analysis for Canadian grains, oilseeds, pulses and other special crops.

Our analysis is distinct because it is:

  • Independent and unbiased
  • Starts with farmgate knowledge through the value chain
  • Supported by extensive Canadian and global data sources

We aim to help our clients make more profitable marketing decisions. 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 2

Long-Range Forecasts are Worthless

No matter how smart the person is who does them, grain market forecasts beyond a year out (and even that’s stretching it) aren’t worth the digital ink they’re written with. Sure, they satisfy the accountant’s need to insert a line item in the projected budget but have no purpose beyond that. Most long-term forecasts are glorified trend analysis and real life markets don’t behave that way. Weather is the main driver of grain markets. Throw in a few unpredictable changes to economic or trade policy and you end up with a complete fog. But hey, if you’re looking for a long-term outlook, we’d be happy to provide one. We’ll get the dart board all warmed up.

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 pulse market was a good example. We could see pressure building up from large supplies and expected the market to weaken. But we didn't know the Indian government would react like it did. We sa some of these things coming, but not others. Rather than a prophet, maybe "tea leaf reader" is a better description.