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Canada’s food processing outlook clouded by weather and geopolitical uncertainty

FCC Ag Economics is doing a mid-year check-in on our January 2019 Outlooks. Throughout July and August, we’ll update our expectations about profitability across seven Canadian ag sectors (dairy, broilers, red meat, food processing, horticulture, agribusiness and grains, oilseeds and pulses). We’ll describe what’s happened in 2019 to-date and you should monitor in the next six months.
 
Our January forecast for varied food processing margins is holding up well. 
 
Demand is growing for potato products and red meat, but Canadian export potential continues to be limited due to both production and market access challenges. Potato processors, coming off a difficult year, must wait for the 2019 crop to tell if yield, quality and overall production improvements will provide better margins. Red meat processors may see positive margins strengthen, but that outlook is highly uncertain given ongoing trade tensions and improving weather on the prairies. Bread and pastries are growing in global import markets, but bakeries will likely see challenges in the year ahead.
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