Canada maltsters lose sales in Wheat Board impasse

Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:15pm EST
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WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Canadian maltsters have lost business to competitors because the Canadian Wheat Board has refused to sell new-crop malting barley due to an impasse over a new pricing program, an industry spokesman said on Tuesday.

The farmer-run CWB, which has a monopoly on sales of the crop from Western Canada, will not forward-sell barley to maltsters beyond July 31, 2008 unless maltsters agree to a program which they have flatly rejected, said Phil de Kemp, president of the Malting Industry Association of Canada.

"We are paying a price for that, and quite frankly so are farmers, because we've lost those opportunities," said de Kemp, declining to comment on what volume of sales had been lost, citing commercial reasons.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Bernadette Baum)