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C&F (Cost and Freight). Seller provides the cargo, covers the loading costs and charters the ocean vessel for a specific destination. The buyer must pay for insurance and for discharge of the grain from the vessel. Buyer specifies shipment period.

CIF (Cost, Insurance, Freight). Seller provides the cargo, covers the loading costs and charters the ocean vessel, plus insures the cargo until it reaches its destination. Seller determines the final loaded quantity within the contract quantity tolerance; the buyer pays for discharge. Buyer specifies shipment period.

FOB (Free on Board). Seller is responsible for placing grain at the end of the loading spout. Buyer is responsible for providing the ocean vessel, and for all other costs after the grain is delivered on board, including stowing and trimming the cargo in the holds. Buyer determines the final loaded quantity within the contract quantity tolerance. Buyers specify delivery period.

Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA). An agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture that provides farmers, handlers, processors, exporters, and international buyers with information and tools that accurately and consistently describe the quality and quantity of the grain and commodities being bought and sold by:
  • Managing the national inspection and weighing system, a unique network of Federal, State, and private laboratories that provide impartial, user fee funded official inspection and weighing services.
  • Protecting the integrity of the official inspection system and the market at large to ensure markets for grain and related products are fair, transparent, and free from deceptive and fraudulent practices.
  • Providing the market with terms and methods for quality assessments. The Official U.S. Standards for Grain are used each and every day by sellers and buyers around the world to communicate the type and quality of grain bought and sold. Our standard testing methodologies accurately and consistently measure grain quality.
  • Providing traditional and innovative inspection and weighing services to the traditional bulk and specialty commodity markets.
  • Providing international services and outreach programs that keep America's grain flowing to our international customers.

Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS). As part of GIPSA, FGIS oversees impartial inspectors who sample, weigh, inspect, and certify nearly every single wheat shipment exported from the U.S.

Letter of Credit. The most common form of payment for U.S. wheat, in which the buyer's bank first establishes a letter of credit in favor of the seller. When the grain is shipped and documentation is presented, the seller's bank makes payment to the seller, then the buyer's bank makes payment to the seller's bank. A letter of credit greatly reduces commercial risk for the seller, but involves higher bank service charges.
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