CWB looks for options to boost market share

The CWB is satisfied with the amount of grain it has contracted from farmers so far but it is assessing new strategies, including adding another pool, to procure more.

“We are satisfied with our market share to date,” said Gord Flaten, vice-president of grain procurement with CWB.

“However, given the environment that we’re in, we do want to procure more tonnes….”

Speaking to members of the Inland Terminals Association of Canada, Flaten said high cash prices and the anticipation of future market rallies has convinced some farmers to delay marketing decisions.

Nonetheless, board officials are satisfied with farmer response to CWB pools, he added.

The wheat board announced last week that it has extended to Nov. 9 the sign-up deadline for the harvest delivery pool, the second of two CWB pool contracts to be offered this year.

The original sign up deadline for the harvest pool had been set at Oct. 31. Flaten said Nov. 5 that another extension to the harvest pool deadline is not in the cards.

To ensure participation in the CWB harvest pool, growers must commit grain before the Nov. 9 deadline.

According to Flaten, CWB will focus on securing more grain through cash markets after Nov. 9.

But he did not rule out the possibility of launching a third CWB pool.

“As far as additional pools for the rest of the year, we have an open mind on that right now,” he said.

“That’s one of the things that (we’d like to know) is how popular and relevant … those kinds of offerings could be if we (offered them).”

A few months ago, CWB officials projected that the new wheat board would handle 30 to 40 percent of the wheat, durum and malting barley produced in Western Canada this year.

Flaten declined to say if the board was still on track to meet that target, but he said the CWB is in good shape based on early volumes committed.

“We have a budget as far as what we assumed we would need for market share in order to achieve a certain profit target,” Flaten said.

“I can say that if we (finish) up, at the end of the year, with the share that we have seen committed so far … then we will achieve our targets.

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