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"We don't know what's going on ...
"We don't know what's going on in the system here," said Prima advisor Derek Sliworsky in Winnipeg, who said that while not all Canadian wheat shipments suffer from poor quality, "we don't have these problems from other origins.
Prima buys between 500,000 and 1 million tonnes of Canadian wheat a year to produce flour at its mills in Singapore, Sri Lanka and China.
Problems have grown since 2012, when Ottawa stripped the Canadian Wheat Board
of its centralized role in marketing wheat, said Sliworsky
, who used to work for the wheat board.
The following year, Ottawa cut one-third of the workforce of the Canadian Grain Commission
, the agency responsible for quality.
Derek joined the Prima Group in Singapore in 2012 as a Group Advisor and is the Managing Director Of Agriway Pte Ltd.
principle focus is on wheat procurement with additional activities on flour sales and feed ingredient purchasing.
was founded in 1961 as one of the pioneer flour millers in Asia.
The company has grown steadily to a group wheat milling capacity of over 5000 MT per day with mills in Sri Lanka, Singapore and China.
In addition, other businesses include feed milling, supplying hybrid seeds for Agriculture in Sri Lanka, food manufacturing, foodservice, F&B franchising, bakery equipment and systems, baking and culinary education, information technology, R&D services, trading and investments.
Prior to joining the Prima Group, Derek worked in Tokyo for 6 years as the Canadian Wheat Board's (CWB) Japan General Manager responsible for wheat sales to various countries within Asia in addition to Japan.
Before moving to Tokyo, he worked in CWB's Head office in Winnipeg in various capacities including Asia Pacific Sales, price forecasting and marketing strategy.
Also, while in Winnipeg, Derek gained some experience as a canola merchant for Cargill Canada. With over 20 years of grain industry experience, he has witnessed many exciting changes, first-hand.
Derek holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Science degree from the University of Manitoba.
was raised on a cattle ranch near Winnipegosis, Manitoba, is married with two children.
But since the single desk has ...
But since the single desk has ended, there have been challenges with purchasing Canadian wheat, causing some companies to reduce the amount they are buying, Derek Sliworsky of Prima Group, Agriway PTE Ltd. told the Cereals 2014 conference in Winnipeg.
Sliworsky was also previously the manager of the CWB's Japan office.
owns milling facilities in China, Sri Lanka and Singapore.
At one point the Sri Lanka mill purchased all of its wheat for the year from Canada.
But, all three locations have seen a decline in Canadian wheat imports since the end of the single-desk on August 1, 2012, Sliworsky
One of the biggest challenges in buying wheat from Canada has been shipping times, as some ships they ordered since 2012 were waiting at ports for up to 40 to 50 days.
It's a problem for buyers because it's almost impossible for them to predict when the cargoes of Canadian wheat
added that it's very difficult for a buyer to not know when they will get their wheat, as it makes them nervous about possibly running out of stock.
One shipment of a special type of wheat for a specific flour product arrived two months too late from Canada, and they were out of stock for a few weeks, he
has also faced problems with deferring cargoes, noting that it was easy to do with the Canadian Wheat Board
But, sellers now are quoting premiums of two to four dollars per tonne to defer the shipments, even if they give two to three months notice, Sliworsky
That used to be common practice when the Canadian Wheat Board
was in power, but it no longer happens in the new open market, according to Sliworsky
Another issue is a lack of sufficient competition in the Canadian marketplace, making it harder for buyers to get the product they want for a good price.
said a buyer may only get two or three offers from Canadian sellers, and if many of them are sold out when they need the product, then "they have to start switching the way they are buying."
But, it's not all bad for Canadian wheat
said, as it is still highly regarded and valued in many Asian markets.
The grade variety and integrity is still there, buyers have resources such as Canadian International Grain Institute
and the Canadian Grain Commission
, and the wheat is cleaner than from some other countries.
An added bonus, he
said, is that vessels aren't fumigated, as Canada has a natural competitive advantage of having temperatures below 35 Celicus, which isn't the case with Australia and most of the U.S.
- Canada Wheat Board breakfast seminar August 2004
On Thursday August 26, 2004, CanCham "Pancakes 'n' Maple Syrup Breakfast presentation was "Canadian Wheat, Vietnam and the WTO" and our Guest Speaker was Derek Sliworsky, Marketing Manager for Asia Pacific, Canadian Wheat Board (CWB).
was part of a 5-person delegation (grain, cereal, baking and technology specialists) visiting Vietnam and they kindly agreed to present their knowledge and opportunities to our morning social and business meeting.
said that this is a large market for them, however, they are not yet at the stage where they will set up a rep office for CWB
Derek also spoke about the WTO and CWB, and here is a very welcome ruling on the CWB from the WTO Board.
Saigontoday - Your guide to events in Saigon Today
"We can meet Vietnamese businesses'needs for low-priced wheat," Derek Sliworksy, CWB marketing director in Asia Pacific, said at the seminar held by CWB.
Through two importers Toepfer and Sojitz that have offices in Vietnam, CWB
is offering a price of US$120-US$150 for a ton of wheat FOB Canadian port.Of which, the cheaper category targets the husbandry and aquaculture industries in Vietnam.
admitted that it was not easy to penetrate the Vietnamese market as the transport cost has tripled from more than one year ago.Sliworksy
said the fee for transporting wheat from Canada to Vietnam has increased from US$20-22/ton previously to US$55-65 at present.
"With the surge in shipping charges, Vietnamese businesses have increasingly turned to wheat from those countries in closer proximity," he
said.In addition, the weak U.S. dollar has bolstered the competitiveness .of American wheat over Canadian products, he