Input Capital expands interests in prairie canola; expects strong growth

Regina-based commodities broker Input Capital Corp. is continuing to expand its foothold in the prairie canola industry.

Financial documents released by Input Capital last month show the publicly traded company had canola reserves of 405,000 tonnes as of Sept. 30, 2017, up from 259,000 tonnes a year earlier.

The company now has canola supply or “streaming” contracts with 301 canola farmers across Western Canada, including 221 growers in Saskatchewan, 71 in Alberta and nine in Manitoba.

Input Capital offers farmers an up-front payment for canola that has yet to be harvested and sells “streamed” canola when market conditions are favourable.

In its 2017 fiscal year, the company signed 297 streaming contracts, issued payments of $36.8 million, added 199 new growers to its client list and sourced more than 300,000 tonnes of canola.

“Over the last year, we have seen a lot of growth,” said Doug Emsley, company president and chief executive officer. “Today, we have over 300 active streams (growers), up from just 112 last year at this time, and we anticipate another strong year of growth in fiscal year 2018.”

For the 12 months that ended Sept. 30, Input’s revenues from canola sales exceeded $34 million.

Input’s canola streaming contracts are aimed at farmers who require capital to expand their land base or crop production.

Some observers have criticized its operating model, suggesting it appeals primarily to growers who no longer qualify for debt financing through traditional lenders.

Over the past five years, Input generated total revenues of $86.1 million from canola sales and paid farmers about $160 million.

With total canola reserves estimated at 405,000 tonnes as of Sept. 30, 2017, the company controlled the equivalent of two percent of annual prairie canola production.

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