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Trade Team Travels to United States as Chinese Wheat Purchases Soar
August 02, 2013
ARLINGTON, Virginia — With wheat sales two months into the marketing year totaling almost nine times the five-year average, it is clear that China is turning to the United States this year to supply its increasing needs for wheat. To help Chinese millers take advantage of competitive pricing and high quality U.S. wheat supplies, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) is bringing a team of milling executives and purchasing managers to the United States.

From Aug. 3 to 13, six team members will travel to Oregon, Idaho, Montana and North Dakota to tour grain facilities, meet with wheat researchers and talk directly with farmers on their farms. Discussions will help these managers build knowledge about the U.S. wheat marketing system and about the benefits of U.S. wheat for specific Chinese end-products. The trade team is sponsored in part by the North Dakota Wheat Commission with additional collaboration from the Oregon Wheat Commission, Montana Wheat & Barley Committee and Idaho Wheat Commission.

“These team members are in charge of final purchasing decisions for their mills and are looking for information on crop quality and grain standards,” said USW Regional Vice President Matt Weimar, based in Hong Kong, who will accompany the team. “China is looking to the United States to help bolster wheat supplies, and this team will learn how to use the U.S. grain marketing system to further increase the value of purchases of the high quality wheat needed to meet their consumers’ demands.”

In addition to an increasing preference for Western-style wheat foods and high protein wheat, China needs to replace stocks released from their national grain reserve and the domestic winter wheat crop likely had significant quality problems after persistent rains at harvest time. At the same time, U.S. wheat prices have become increasingly competitive. As a result, China has imported 131.6 million bushels of U.S. wheat to date for the 2013/14 marketing year, compared to last year’s total wheat sales of 12.6 million bushels and the five-year average of 14.3 million bushels.

USW is the industry’s market development organization working in more than 100 countries. Its mission is to “develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance the profitability of U.S. wheat producers and their customers.” USW activities are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 19 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. USW maintains 17 offices strategically located around the world to help wheat buyers, millers, bakers, wheat food processors and government officials understand the quality, value and reliability of all six classes of U.S. wheat.
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2013 China Mill and Purchasing Managers Team – Trade Members

Mr. Ming Xi Wang
Director, Laizhou Defeng Grains Industry Company

Mr. Hui Fu Zhou
Deputy General Manager, Qingdao Xinghua Cereal Oil & Foodstuffs Company

Mr. Cheng Li
Deputy General Manager, Shangdong Hengfeng Flour Company

Mr. Zheng Hong Wang
General Manager, Yantai Baoyang Flour Company

Mr. Zheng Liang Lu
General Manager, Qingdao Weiliang Flour Company

Mr. Xue Jian Li
Deputy General Manager, Qingdao Four Gardener Flour Company.

Mr. Matt Weimar
Regional Vice President, USW Hong Kong Office

Ms. Shirley Lu
Marketing Specialist, USW Hong Kong Office

The U.S. Wheat Industry Partnership with China

Starting 25 years ago, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and partner organizations like the Sino-American Baking School in Guangzhou laid a foundation for growth by demonstrating the quality, reliability and value of U.S. wheat to Chinese millers, bakers, food processors and government officials.

Today, USW is proving that it is possible to sell more wheat to the world’s largest wheat-producing country. In China, affluence is increasing, diets are changing and there is more demand for diverse, convenient and high quality food products. To meet this consumer need, Chinese millers need premium wheat and that means increased demand for hard red spring (HRS), soft white (SW), soft red winter (SRW) and hard red winter (HRW) wheat.

In addition to trade servicing and technical assistance from USW, China also faces a potential shortage in wheat supplies and a winter wheat crop that has significant quality problems after persistent rains at harvest time. With the combination of these factors and competitive prices, the payoff is evident as China has imported 131.6 million bushels of U.S. wheat to date for the 2013/14 marketing year, compared to last year’s total wheat sales of 12.6 million bushels and the five-year average of 14.3 million bushels.

U.S. Wheat Sales to China by Class
1,000 metric tons
Crop Year
(June - May)
HRW
SRW
HRS
White
Durum
Total
2013/14
3.9
3,290.7
165.5
122.2
0.0
3,582.3
2012/13
4.7
200.3
475.2
125.2
0.0
805.4
2011/12
1.4
83.6
399.7
111.8
0.0
596.5
2010/11
0.0
5.2
92.7
25.6
0.0
123.6
2009/10
0.0
124.0
116.2
56.2
0.0
296.4
2008/09
0.1
113.0
0.3
5.2
0.0
118.6
2007/08
0.3
0.0
1.0
15.8
0.0
17.2
2006/07
0.5
56.2
1.0
9.5
0.0
67.1
2005/06
0.0
64.9
161.9
153.4
0.0
380.1
2004/05
0.0
724.6
949.0
420.1
0.0
2,093.6
Data current through July 25, 2013

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