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Panama Milling Managers Travel North to Observe U.S. Wheat Crop
June 11, 2014
ARLINGTON, Virginia — Representatives from three of Panama’s four flour mills will visit Oregon, Washington and North Dakota June 15 to 21, 2014, as part of the U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) mission to help world buyers understand the quality, value and reliability of U.S. wheat.

“Teams like these give key milling administrators the change to observe and discuss crop conditions and our supply chain,” said Chad Weigand, assistant regional director for the USW Mexican, Central American, Caribbean Region. “The team’s firsthand observations of the U.S. wheat marketing system will help keep the great relationship between the U.S. wheat industry and Panama’s flour millers strong.”

The team will make stops in Portland, OR, Spokane, WA, and Fargo, ND. Meeting with wheat farmers, grain industry representatives and university researchers will help the team gain a better understanding of the U.S. wheat marketing system as well as help them examine logistical and transportation alternatives from a variety of locations in the United States.

Panama has just four milling companies that have a total milling capacity of 720 MT per day. These groups are represented by the Panamanian Millers Association, MOLTRIGO, which is responsible for wheat purchasing decisions. The flour mills purchase wheat and arrange freight together in an effort to reduce costs.

Overall, Panama imports more than 90 percent of its wheat from the United States and buys four of the six U.S. wheat classes - hard red winter (HRW), hard red spring (HRS), soft red winter (SRW) and durum. As of May 29, 2014, Panama had imported 4.45 million bushels (121,000 MT) of wheat for the 2013/14 marketing year.

USW collaborated with the Washington Grain Commission, North Dakota Wheat Commission and the Oregon Wheat Commission to organize this trade team.

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 FAS. 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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2014 Panama Trade Team - Team Members

Jorge Donoso
Administrator, Molino Oro del Norte

German Torres
Assistant General Manager, Harinas del Istmo

Fernando Bichón
Production Manager, Gold Mills

Chad Weigand
Assistant Regional Director, Mexico City, U.S. Wheat Associates

U.S. Wheat Sales to Panama
1,000 Metric Tons
Crop Year
(June - May)
HRW
HRS
SRW
SW
Durum
HW
Total
2013
19
43
34
0
6
0
102
2012
27
45
55
0
7
0
134
2011
34
40
78
0
6
0
157
2010
32
39
31
0
6
0
108
2009
23
57
36
0
6
0
123
2008
17
43
51
0
6
0
118
2007
8
81
31
0
2
0
121
2006
0
95
37
0
5
0
136
2005
0
87
32
0
1
0
119
2004
1
74
28
0
0
0
103
Data current through June 2, 2013
NOTE: The Imports from U.S. by Class table is a summary of all wheat inspected for export by the Federal Grain Inspection Service.

One metric ton = 36.74 bushels

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