So far, in 2018, it turns out that GEC will market at least 600 metric tonnes of cereal, corn and, soybean crops over and above the 80,000 metric tonnes it handled the previous year. As well, toxin was a non issue again this past year.
In addition to servicing the needs of regional and domestic markets, off shore, global access was required to market new crop hard red spring milling wheat. GEC was also able to market the entire 2017/18 soft winter wheat crop successfully. This bodes well for the sector. However there was some poorer grade three and four corn that found it’s way into the region as imported product. Such products can create pricing challenges in the feed market.
Fortunately, decent grower results for both yield and quality, were achieved consistently across P.E.I. While more acres have been diverted to soybeans, wheat, pulse, corn, or bio-fumigant crops, growers have shown interest in developing local malt barley varieties in addition to feed, to supply a growing local craft beer market. It is to be hoped that this growth continues.
Despite this, P.E.I. remains a price taker. It is always a challenge to remain competitive in markets especially as new buyers increase their activities to import or export grain and / or develop alternative markets for new crops such as pulse, hemp & black beans. Corn production in P.E.I. is up with about 16,000 acres being grown as high moisture, dry corn, and silage. Cereals need to compete against greater volumes of both local and imported corn.
Provided quality is acceptable, the high corn yield potential is especially valued by growers. GEC in and of itself is not a major player in the corn market as significant management effort and infrastructure is required in order for GEC to handle procurement and marketing of the local soybean crop both domestically and for export. Adequate storage remains a critical issue
With current interest in expansion of the regional beef industry and prospects for a stable to increasing pork price later on into 2018, as well as steady demand overall from the poultry, dairy, fish and aqua culture sectors, feed ingredient demand for local products has been acceptable. Firmer price conditions for cereals are expected to continue for the remainder of the year, so long as the impacts of protectionist measures such as tariffs recently announced by the U.S. and China among others don’t cause undo distortion in grain, livestock and oilseed markets. For 2018 /19, with global crop prospects favorable and a robust grain carry out projected, market price prospects have eased somewhat.
GEC has developed successful cereal and oilseed working relationships with agricultural businesses and farmers alike. It continues to explore off shore opportunities integrated along with the development of a vessel program. Whenever a commercial opportunity exists, GEC has supplied appropriate quantities of grain and oilseed products at competitive prices. Through relationships established with the local transportation industry including a recent marine presence in Summerside and, access to local harbor storage via the Halifax Elevator system, GEC has more than doubled its capacity in the last decade. Increased volumes of P.E.I. based storage under the control of GEC is under investigation as it is seen as being more cost effective. GEC provides quality services to hundreds of producers and strives where possible to operate a low cost operation on a strong commercial basis.
GEC has also strengthened its connectivity to national grain marketing & brokerage organizations. It supports the efforts of the regional Atlantic Grains Council by collecting a research levy and helping to design and implement plant breeding and agronomy projects. In order to take the pressure off the local feed market, GEC continues to search for new export opportunities aimed at identifying profitable crop prospects. Differentiated winter wheat markets may offer future contract opportunities. As well, food safety and sustain ability standards are being monitored as a means to ensure continued market access. To reiterate, Growers are once again reminded that emerging opportunities for crops such as corn, and soybeans, barley or oats must meet stringent export standards. Also, corn competes with soybeans for both storage space, and drying capacity at harvest.
GEC staff are available to answer your marketing questions and can also provide information on risk management and future price prospects. The reader should contact the General Manager Neil Campbell or facilities supervisors Wade Waddell, Donald Stewart or Joe Vandenberghe for further information by accessing the “Contacts” section of this website.