Corn prices in Ontario rise with domestic demand

Organic fraud cases south of the border have buoyed Ontario’s corn market. Photo: File

By Jade Markus
OrganicBiz staff

The effects of organic fraud in the US are being felt by Ontario’s corn prices, while speculation about how crops will fare this year is adding an element of uncertainty.

Organic corn prices moved higher in the wake of organic fraud revelations in the US, said Andrew St. Jean of Beechwood Agri Services in Ontario.

Last month, the Washington Post investigated and found multiple cases where conventional corn and soybeans were being imported into the US, marked as organic.

“Seems that spiked the corn market all of a sudden,” St. Jean said, as it increased demand for domestic product in both the US and Canada.

Ontario’s crops are progressing slightly behind schedule, St. Jean added, as wet conditions in the spring slowed seeding.

In general, there’s less corn planted in Ontario this year, he said, due to those wet conditions, and in some cases producers shifted acres into soybeans.

If this rain continues and we get humidity, it’s likely to have an impact on it and make it feed grade. – Andrew St. Jean

“So I think as far as time-wise, we’re about a week or two behind,” he said, adding that crops generally look OK, but are still wet.

Crops are moving into a critical stage, he said, especially for wheat.

“If this rain continues and we get humidity, it’s likely to have an impact on it and make it feed grade.”

Outside of the corn market, values for most other commodities in Ontario are sitting stable, and are close to last year’s prices.