Readers may know that only four countries consistently produce grain for sale in international markets: the US, Canada, Australia, and Argentina. Yesterday Reuters reported that Argentina will be denying export permits to the international grain oligopoly (the so-called ABCD group) because they are not paying Argentinean grain producers a fair share of the world price.

Argentina’s Economy Minister Axel Kicillof, responding to complaints from wheat farmers said “We will only give export permits when the price that these exporters pay the producer is near to the international price.” According to the Minister the giant international grain companies are withholding more than 30% of the international grain price, short-changing farmers.

Western Canadian farmers should be so lucky. We have seen our share of the international wheat price decline from 90% with the single-desk Canadian Wheat Board to around 40%.

Grain Marketing Think Tank at Work – Not exactly as illustrated

So to recap, the Argentinean Economics Minister is punishing the international grain trade because they are taking 30% of the world price for themselves; while the Canadian Agriculture Minister is blathering on about how good western Canadian farmers have it when the international grain trade is taking better than 60% of the world price away from them. New projections that western Canadian farmers could see as little as 20% of the world price as the smaller Canadian grain handling firms are swallowed up by the international oligarchs means more trouble ahead.

So the news from Argentina shows that western Canadian farmers without the Wheat Board are actually worse off than Argentina’s wheat producers. Perhaps we should export Minister Ritz along with the boat load of fairy dust he has been peddling to cover up the consequences of Ottawa’s killing of the farmer-owned and controlled single-desk Canadian Wheat Board.


  1. I think you answered your own question there Darrell. “fools”. And there are a lot of fools that believe Harper’s and Ritz’s lies. That’s all it takes for them to win again. Harper’s party is the party of destruction. He has destroyed many things that took generations to build such as the Wheat Board, Statscan and even democracy. He does all this under the guise of saving taxpayers’ money and running a strong economy. Stuff that fools believe if you keep repeating it over and over. I cannot however think of one thing this government has built. Destroy is all they know. Oddly enough, they haven’t even built a pipeline for their oil.

  2. Darrell Stokes

    It is my hope that the opposition parties have enough courage to use this information, and shame the Conservative government in front of the country. I am embarrassed to have Stephen Harper and Gerry Ritz represent me as ministers of my Canadian government. What fools will mark an X for these incompetents?