“This new reporting is an exciting step forward in price transparency for the open market for Canadian wheat,” said Geoff Backman, manager of business development and markets with the Alberta Wheat Commission.
“Markets work most efficiently when all parties have similar access to information.”
The report fills an important information gap that has existed for years, he told participants during a recent webinar organized by the commission and Argus Media, the London, England-based company providing the service.
It launched in July 2021 after three months of industry consultation. Prices are published in U.S. dollars per tonne as a range of the highest to lowest offers for No. 2 CWRS, with a minimum protein content of 13.5 percent. A midpoint price is also published.
The prices come from a daily survey of 22 buyers, sellers and brokers. That number will continue to expand.
Brennan Turner, founder of the crop marketing hub, Combyne, said Canadian port prices are not as readily available as they are in the United States or the European Union.
“We’re one of the few players in the world where trying to publicly understand this data is pretty difficult to do,” he said.
“It’s on par with Russia’s reporting dynamics.”
He welcomes the new port pricing data because farmers can then subtract transportation costs to get a good idea of what that port price works back to in their area.
“That can help you determine, am I selling for a good price or am I getting hosed a little bit here?” said Turner.
However, he did add that the prices might be about a month out-of-date due to how long it takes for the grain to move through the system to the Port of Vancouver.
Fiona Poynter, agricultural lead with Argus, said the company has been providing price discovery information for commodity markets for 50 years.
Its debut in the agriculture sector was a little over one year ago when it acquired French consultancy Agritel.
“We’re shining a light on some of the world’s most opaque commodity markets,” she said.
Until now, the Minneapolis futures market has provided the best proxy for Canada’s CWRS wheat but she noted that it largely reflects the U.S. eastern milling markets.
“To have a specific Canadian f.o.b. Vancouver price was something which the market was very much calling for,” said Poynter.
She said the Canadian market has changed a lot in recent years and the opening of G3 Terminal Vancouver is helping to further transform that market.
The pricing information is published in the Argus AgriMarkets report, which is a paid subscription that also offers pricing information on Black Sea wheat and corn, Brazilian corn and soybeans and a few other commodities.