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Israeli Trade Team Examines Wheat Crop from Farm to Port
June 20, 2013
ARLINGTON, Virginia — Even in the face of strong competition, the world’s flour millers know they can count on U.S. wheat farmers for a reliable supply of high quality wheat, thanks to export market development programs. That includes millers in Israel, where only 10 percent of milling wheat can be sourced domestically due to a lack of agricultural land and water for irrigation.

To reinforce that relationship, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) organized a team of technical and commercial milling managers from Israel to travel to Oklahoma, Texas and Washington, DC, June 22 to 28 to examine the U.S. hard red winter (HRW) production areas and crops, visit export elevators and discuss trade policy.

“As long-term buyers of U.S. wheat, Israeli millers know the United States has the premium milling wheat they need, but since 2000, U.S. wheat has competed with supplies from the European Union and the Black Sea countries,” said Rotterdam-based USW European Regional Director Goris van Lit, who will accompany the team. “By bringing team members directly to the farm, elevator and port, they get to see that they can trust the products, the people and organizations that USW represents.”

The team will have the opportunity to study the U.S. production, research, transportation and marketing systems in order to explore the technical, religious and commercial comparison between U.S. wheat, domestic Israeli wheat and competitor wheats.

The Israeli trade team is sponsored in part by the Oklahoma Wheat Commission and funding from market development programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service. USW also collaborated with the Texas Wheat Producers Board on this team. Trade teams like this one reinforce the reliability, quality and value of the U.S. wheat crop to wheat buyers from around the world.

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 Israeli Trade Team – Trade Members

Mr. Moshe Kramer
Manager, Bar-Rav Flour Mills Ltd.

Mr. Yaniv Kramer
Risk Analyst, Bar-Rav Flour Mills Ltd.

Mr. Asaf Shahak
Manager, Shintraco Ltd.

Mr. Adi Pinhas
Senior Vice President, Vision Financial Markets

Mr. Goris van Lit
Regional Director, USW Rotterdam Office

The U.S. Wheat Industry Relationship with Israel

Wheat production in Israel is relatively low due to limited availability of agricultural land and water for irrigation. On average, only 10 percent of Israel’s total milling wheat consumption is sourced from domestic supplies. In Israel, most wheat is imported directly by the milling industry, either by individual mills or through a joint import company that allows individual mills to work together on a cargo-by-cargo basis. The Israeli government also influences the pricing of the national wheat crop and issues import licenses for milling wheat.

U.S. wheat has heavy competition in Israel’s market, especially with European and Black Sea wheat supplies. The USW European regional office in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, is responsible for carrying out activities in Israel and begins each crop year with the timely dissemination of crop quality and supply information. Activities also demonstrate by example the competitive advantages of the U.S. marketing system.

USW works directly with end-users and importers to help them deepen commercial links with U.S. export companies during activities in Israel and by facilitating visits to the United States, including through trade teams like the one taking place this week.

In 2012/13, Israel purchased 231,000 metric tons (MT) of U.S. hard red winter (HRW) wheat and 20,000 MT of SRW. The five-year average for U.S. wheat imports is 320,000 metric tons.

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