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Markets & Marketing

Trends

Toxin issues will not reduce the quality of the crop available for sale as milling or feed wheat this year. GEC was able to purchase approximately 15,054 metric tonnes of milling and approximately 8,200 mt purchased as feed wheat in 2015. Excellent grower quality results were achieved consistently across the province. While more acres may have been diverted to soybeans or corn, the barley acreage, with just over 17,550 mt delivered to the three GEC locations, declined somewhat; perhaps due to a threat from wire worn infestation.

PEI remains a price taker, it is always a challenge to remain competitive in our markets with more corn and soybean production in PEI, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Quebec. Nova Scotia appears to be embarking on a program that includes more corn and soybeans in feed rations. new Brunswick growers now appear to favour corn over cereal due to lingering toxin concerns with cereal. Corn quality problems were experienced regionally this past year due to isolated weather issues at both planting and harvest time. Nevertheless, so long as PEI barley is priced competitively against corn there is a good opportunity for local PEI barley to compete against corn despite higher freight costs. If the oat acreage remains the same, the demand for locally grown oats will put pressure on price, as the greater supply impacts demand at current production levels. Regionally, the canola acreage appears in decline as the cropping and disease challenges do not seem well suited to the agronomy of the region.

Improving prices for beef and a stable to lower hog price in 2014/15 may have increased the demand for livestock feed. Firm demand conditions for cereals should continue albeit subject to downward price pressure on the supply side, especially when faced with a greater importation and supply of local corn.

Stable local demand and a resultant supply response has increased the interest and presence of the large grain companies throughout the Atlantic region. Most are important new customers; GEC has developed successful business relationships with most major players, although one longtime regional feed company went into receivership in 2015. GEC is able to react to such threats; and the evolving export orientation of the PEI cereal and oilseed industries continues.Whenever a commercial opportunity exists, GEC can supply large quantities of product at competitive prices. Through relationships with the local transportation industry and the Halifax Elevator system, GEC has more than doubled its capacity in the last decade.

GEC has also strengthened its connectivity to national grain marketing opportunities or initiatives through developing relationships with the newly formed Barley Council of Canada,  Cereals Canada (wheat) and  Soy Canada. These opportunities and the exposure these relationships create, aid in the search for new marketing options and must continue.  Key to sourcing these markets will be a focus on quality attributes such as bushel weight, moisture, crude protein, colour, absorption rates, fiber and oil content.

In order to take the pressure off the local feed market, GEC continues to search for new opportunities aimed at identifying profitable crop prospects. GEC continues to participate in any upcoming trade missions of interest. The results of these missions may be posted to this website as information becomes available. Quality production for feed or food is required. Growers are reminded that emerging opportunities for newer crops such as corn, must meet stringent export standards. GEC customers should also realize that corn competes with soybeans for both space and drying capacity.

A final word on corn.  Certainly PEI has the potential to increase corn production, it must however compete against barley or feed wheat in the same feed market; high moisture being the exception. Earlier maturing varieties of corn are highly sought after by growers. The challenge is to plant and harvest them earlier before extensive drying is required.  Drying charges are high, and the process can be costly.  Corn is not cheap to grow. From a GEC point of view, growers are encouraged to pursue both high moisture and dry corn marketing options.  If these ventures prove less than successful, and there is an expectation that GEC should handle and dry the crop, growers are well advised to make early and prior arrangements for drying as the incoming corn crop may conflict with the GEC soybean drying and handling operations.

For soybeans, issues of concern are colour, oil content, moisture and protein levels. Growers are reminded that early maturing varieties of soybeans are required along with the requisite good luck, management and weather.

Grain Elevators

  • Kensington
    902-836-8927
    Wade Waddell
    Plant Supervisor

     

  • Roseneath
    902-838-0891
    Joseph  Vandenberghe
    Plant Supervisor

  • Elmsdale
    902-853-8630
    Donald Stewart
    Plant Supervisor

  • Head Office
    902-836-8935

    Neil Campbell
    General Manager

    Michael Delaney
    Director Strategic Planning

    Joann Lowther  Financial Manager

    Barbara Walker Accounting Tech

    Derrith MacDougall Admin Support Worker