Export Markets for Canadian Grain: Trends and Market Mix

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  • This paper overviews the results of three separate, but related economic research projects conducted from 1985 to 1991 and funded by Farming for the Future. The topic of the first two of these concerned export markets for wheat. One might question how such topics relate to the theme of Agri-food Diversification, which is the focus of this Farming for the Future research conference. The three projects do relate to this theme. They focused on the analysis of diverse and distinct market segments for different types or classes of grains and the relative values of different characteristics of grain. Our emphasis on wheat and barley markets also reflects the fact that while other special crops provide very useful production and market alternatives for Alberta farmers, the relatively limited market size for many special crops necessitates continued research on the agronomic and economic characteristics of wheat, barley, and oilseeds. Some basic information on the recent geographic destination of Canada's total grain exports (including oilseeds) and on Canada's share of world grain markets in the last decade is given in Tables 1 and 2. A major concern of the first project was to analyse trends, market shares and values of different types or classes of wheat based on characteristics such as protein pattern of import behaviour by wheat importing nations. For this purpose importers were classified into five broad categories, based on similar socio-economic characteristics of their markets. These categories were the developed or high income market; the centrally planned markets of eastern Europe and the former USSR; the centrally planned Asian market (a market dominated by China); the very substantial but fragmented middle-income developing nation group; and the low-income developing nations, a group that includes the poorest countries in the world. In the second study, we analysed \"importer loyalty\" for different classes of wheat and for wheat from different suppliers. This involved estimating the probability of repeat purchases by the different broad categories of buyers for wheat from different sources and for broad classes of wheat. The final study focused on barley export markets. This study included an analysis of time-series data on barley imported into four selected markets. These analyses complemented a cross-sectional analysis of feedgrain and total grain imports. Overall a number of quantitative methods and economic models were applied in these analyses. Exporter and importer profiles for wheats and barley were based on market share and trend data. Market share models included deterministic constant market share models which enabled us to decompose changes in market shares into world trade, country, commodity, and competitive effects. Econometrics analyses enabled us to make estimates of the value of major characteristics of wheat. These techniques also provided the estimation procedure for analysis of an aggregate cross-sectional analysis of foodgrain demand, and were the means of estimating import demand functions for four major barley markets. Programming analyses were employed in the importer loyalty analysis. Some of the more important results of these varied analyses are outlined below.

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    Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 International