CWB lines up handling deals with Viterra, others

Canada’s biggest grain handler and five other companies have now committed to move Prairie grain on behalf of CWB.

Viterra on Thursday announced a new agreement to accept deliveries of grain that farmers commit to CWB contracts at all its locations across Western Canada. The agreement also includes port handling services, the Regina company said.

"This agreement provides growers with access to the CWB pool programs for wheat, durum and barley, and to Viterra’s comprehensive logistics network across Western Canada," Fran Malecha, Viterra’s chief operating officer for grain, said in a release.

Winnipeg-based CWB also announced handling agreements with Mission Terminal, West Central Road and Rail, Delmar Commodities, Linear Grain and Agro Source during a news conference Thursday in Regina.

"The handling agreements we have reached to date provide farmers with the assurance of multiple locations to deliver their grain, with more on the way," CWB CEO Ian White said. "Farmers should now be able to move ahead and sign CWB contracts with confidence."

On top of previously-announced deals with Canada’s No. 3 handler, Cargill, and with Saskatchewan’s South West Terminal, CWB’s handling agreements now cover over 120 country elevators on the Prairies.

The handling deal with Viterra was negotiated only with Viterra, White said during the press conference at Evraz Place.

However, he added, if Viterra’s friendly takeover by Swiss commodity firm Glencore proceeds as expected by the end of next month, Glencore would also inherit the handling agreement.

CWB has yet to reach a handling agreement with Canada’s No. 2 handler, Richardson International, which is poised to buy a number of those Viterra elevators in a side deal with Glencore.

Richardson wouldn’t be bound by the Viterra/CWB agreement and the affected elevators could move out of the deal, White said.

However, he added, CWB remains "in negotiations" with Richardson, smaller independent grain firms and the remaining Prairie majors, Paterson Grain and Parrish + Heimbecker.

CWB programs are now available for farmer sign-up, White said, but urged interested farmers to sign CWB contracts as early as possible if they want guaranteed access into the CWB pools, which may have "limited space… allocated on a first-come, first-served basis."

"This will be a change for many farmers who were accustomed to waiting for harvest to sign their contracts," White said. "However, the flexibility of CWB pool contracts means there’s no reason to wait, especially if farmers want to avoid disappointment in the fall."

The end of CWB’s single marketing desk for Prairie wheat, durum and barley on Aug. 1 has required the former Canadian Wheat Board to negotiate separate agreements with individual grain handlers.

Who’s covered?

CWB on Thursday provided this list of farmer delivery locations now available under current handling agreements.

Viterra: Agassiz, Beausejour, Binscarth, Boissevain, Fannystelle, Hargrave, Knox, Red River South, Roblin, Rosser, Souris, South Lakes, Tucker, Winnipeg
Cargill: Dauphin; Elm Creek; Elva; Morris; Oakner; Page; Swan River
Mission Terminal: Alexander
Delmar Commodities: Gladstone; Jordan; Somerset; Sperling
Linear Grain: Carman

Viterra: Alameda, Assiniboia, Booth Siding, Brada, Canora, Carnduff, Carrot River, Biggar, CMI Siding, Cupar, Davidson, Eyebrow, Fairlight, Foam Lake, Gardiner Dam, Grenfell, Gull Lake, Hodgeville, Humboldt, Ituna, Kamsack, Kelvington, Kindersley, Langenburg, Lloydminster, Luseland, Maple Creek, Melville, Melfort, Milaty, Moose Jaw, Redvers, Regina, Rosetown, Rowatt, Saskatoon, Swift Current, Tisdale, Unity, Valparaiso, Wadena, Waldron, Weyburn, White Star, Wilkie, Yellow Grass, Yorkton
Cargill: Balcarres; Clavet; Congress; Davidson; Kindersley; Moose Jaw; Nicklen Siding; North Battleford; Raymore; Rosetown; Rowatt; Yorkton
West Central Road and Rail (producer cars only): Eston; Dinsmore: Laporte; Beechy; Lucky Lake
Mission Terminal: Neville
South West Terminal: Antelope

Viterra: Acheson, Cassils (Brooks), Crossfield, Falher, Fort Macleod, Grande Prairie, Grimshaw, Hythe, High Level, Indus, Killam, Lacombe, Lavoy, Provost, Redcoat, Sexsmith, Star, Stettler, Trochu, Vermilion, Vulcan.
Cargill: Blackie; Camrose; Carseland: Edmonton: Equity: Lethbridge; McLennan; Rycroft; Vegreville; Vermilion; Viking

British Columbia
Viterra: Dawson Creek, Fort St. John
Agro Source: Dawson Creek

Related stories:
Cargill to handle grain at elevators, port for CWB, March 1, 2012
Richardson’s Prairie grain handle would rival Glencore’s, March 20, 2012
Enrolment opens for CWB’s new-crop programs, March 30, 2012

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