February 26, 2021
Canadian farmers earned record profits in 2020 and on track for profits this year
Canada's Agriculture and Agri-Food ministry said domestic farmers earned record profits last year and are on track to do the same this year as major crop prices surge, Reuters reported.
Canola prices reached all time highs in February, rallying with oilseed rival soybeans, as China continues to purchase more commodities to produce feed as it rebuilds its swine herd. The ministry said farm exports were stronger in 2020.
Canadian farmers reaped record profits despite disruptions to beef and pork production caused by COVID-19 outbreaks among workers at meat plants. One of Canada's biggest swine packers Olymel lp was forced to send some swine to the United States after temporarily closing its Alberta plant.
Farmers' net cash income (a measure of profitability) was 21.8% higher in 2020 compared to the previous year to CAD 16.5 billion, (~US$13.08 billion; CAD 1 = US$0.79) thanks to increased sales value of the main field crops, according to the ministry.
The ministry said farmers' net cash income is expected to increase a further 6.8% in 2021 to CAD 17.6 billion (~US$14.06 billion)
The ministry also said sales for livestock dropped 1.9% in 2020 and the horticulture industry struggled.
Canadian barley demand has soared as key purchaser China is locked in a trade dispute with usual supplier Australia.