Type of entity
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Intercontinental Exchange Inc.
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- Winnipeg Commodity Exchange
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Dates of existence
The Winnipeg Commodity Exchange was founded in 1887 by a group of Winnipeg grain merchants as the Winnipeg Grain and Produce Exchange. It served initially as a forum for cash trades in Canadian grains but, in 1904, introduced trading in wheat futures and subsequently added futures trading in barley, oats, flax, and rye. In 1908, the Exchange was re-organized as a voluntary, unincorporated, nonprofit organization and its name was changed to the Winnipeg Grain Exchange.
The Grain Exchange grew in importance with the Canadian grain economy so that by 1929, it played a major part in the establishment of world grain prices and the establishment of the Canadian Wheat Board in 1935. In 1943, the Wheat Board was given a monopoly in the marketing of wheat. In 1949, this monopoly was extended to oats and barley. The importance of the Exchange began to revive in 1963 with the establishment of a futures market in rapeseed (subsequently re-named canola). In 1972, a market in gold futures was opened, at which time the Exchange changed its name to the Winnipeg Commodity Exchange. In 1974, part of the trade in barley, oats, and feed wheat was restored to the Exchange.
During its operation, the Winnipeg Commodity Exchange Inc. (W.C.E. or the "Exchange") was Canada's only agricultural futures and options exchange. Agricultural contracts traded on W.C.E. included futures contracts for canola, flaxseed, domestic feed wheat, domestic feed barley, oats, milling wheat, durum wheat, canola meal, and peas. Options on certain of these products were also traded.
In 1996, the Winnipeg Commodities Exchange was Incorporated by an Act of the Manitoba Government. In 1998 WCE Clearing Corporation was established, and two years later the Manitoba Securities Commission took over regulatory responsibility from the Canadian Grain Commission.
In 2001, WCE demutualized, moving from a member-owned structure to a shareholder for-profit structure. On February 1, 2004, WCE celebrated 100 years of Futures Contract Trading. December 17, 2004 marked the end of open outcry trading, with WCE becoming the first North American commodity exchange to go fully electronic.
The WCE was acquired by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) on August 28, 2007, and was re-named ICE Futures Canada (IFCA) at the beginning of 2008. Ten years later, the remaining contract on IFCA (canola) was moved to ICE’s New York exchange (ICE Futures U.S.) in July 2018, thereby ending the Winnipeg exchange’s operation after 131 years.
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Created by Brett Lougheed (2003). Revised by Lewis St. George Stubbs (August 2019). Revised by M. Horodyski (February 2020).