ARLINGTON, Virginia — Eight senior managers from Nigeria’s milling and noodle/pasta manufacturing industries will visit South Dakota and Kansas June 21 to 27, 2015, to examine the current hard red winter (HRW) crop as part of a U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) trade team. USW believes this annual event helps maintain a loyal customer base in a traditionally large market.
Nigeria was the third largest buyer of U.S. wheat for the 2014/15 marketing year that ended on May 31, 2015, importing 76.9 million bushels (2.04 million metric tons). Year-to-year, Nigeria buys more U.S. HRW than any other country. Nigerian millers imported 58.4 million bushels (1.6 million metric tons) of HRW in 2014/15. They also purchased about 12.9 million bushels of soft red winter (SRW) as well as some soft white (SW) and northern durum.
“USW and our state wheat commission member organizations built long-term demand for U.S. wheat in Nigeria by providing information and technical support,” said Muyiwa Talabi, marketing consultant with USW based in Lagos, Nigeria. “This will be our fifteenth annual trade team from Nigeria since 2001 and it is still a key part of our work in an important market where we face new challenges.”
“In an increasingly competitive market, those customers still benefit from, and appreciate, the support USW provides including the chance to see the new U.S. wheat crop and learn about its supply chain from the people who manage it,” said Gerald Theus, assistant regional manager for Sub-Saharan Africa with USW who is based in Cape Town, South Africa. Theus and Talabi will lead this trade team visit.
USW collaborated with the South Dakota Wheat Commission, the Kansas Wheat Commission and USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service to organize this trade team. In South Dakota, the team will meet with grain merchandisers and visit several farms. The team’s Kansas visit includes stops at the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center, USDA’s Center for Grain and Animal Health Research and IGP Institute as well as time with grain merchandisers.
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.
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2015 Nigerian Trade Team - Team Members
Trade Marketing Manager, Honeywell Flour Mills
Pure Flour Mills Ltd.
Group HR Director, Dangote Flour Mills - Tiger
Junior Trader, Seaboard Overseas Ltd.
Production Manager, Nigerian Eagle Flour Mills
Trading / Procurement, Seaboard Overseas Ltd.
Manager/Treasury, BUA Flour Mills
Plant Manager, BUA Pasta Plant
Marketing Consultant, Lagos, U.S. Wheat Associates
Regional Assistant Director, Cape Town, U.S. Wheat Associates
Value-Added Traditions Continue with 2015 U.S. Wheat Trade Teams
By Amanda J. Spoo, USW Communications Specialist
Reprinted from June 4, 2015, issue of “Wheat Letter”
Consistency, trust and quality are essential to good business relationships, particularly for U.S. wheat farmers who annually produce enough to export about 50 percent of their crop. To help strengthen those cornerstone characteristics, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and its state wheat commission members connect U.S. farmers directly with their customers through annual trade team visits — allowing them to shake hands, share meals and have a firsthand farm experience.
Every year from spring to early fall, USW organizes trade team visits to learn about U.S. wheat production and marketing systems. Accompanied by their regional USW representative, participants range from millers and bakers to grain purchasers, traders and executives. Each team’s itinerary and experience is unique, but all center on giving overseas customers the opportunity to ask questions, build relationships and learn why the United States has the most reliable export supply in the world.
Trade teams visit wheat farms and university plots that grow the classes of wheat important to their markets, taking the opportunity to discuss crop conditions with the farmer or hear from wheat breeders on future varieties. They also tour elevators and export facilities, meeting with industry representatives to observe grain grading and inspection procedures.
There are currently 14 USW trade teams planned for 2015, representing at least 12 countries. According to USDA’s May 21 Weekly Export Sales Report, these countries represent 55 percent of total 2014/15 U.S. commercial wheat sales.
Time and experience have proven the success of these team visits to the participants and U.S. wheat farmers. Some countries recognize a long-term value in the teams they send, such as the Nigerian Trade Mission and the Japanese Executive Millers, making their visits an annual occurrence.
In 2009, a Chilean Trade Mission traveled to Portland, OR, to tour port facilities and meet with grain trade association members. Upon returning to Chile, two of the largest mills on the mission immediately purchased three combined cargoes (up to 100,000 MT) of SW and HRW wheat from the Pacific Northwest (PNW). Chile has continued to be the number one SW buyer in South America.
“The trade team yielded good results in building and strengthening the confidence that Chilean wheat buyers and millers have in U.S. wheat,” said USW Santiago Office Assistant Regional Director Osvaldo Seco. “Consequently, in 2010 and 2011 Chile imported 99 percent and 94 percent of its total wheat requirements from the PNW, respectively.”
In addition to sales, trade team visits help build valuable relationships. In 2013, a European Durum Trade Team met with Desert Durum® traders in California. One participant from Italy, Intergrain CEO Marco Percossi, formed contacts that led to a follow-up meeting later that year in Italy between the Arizona Grain Research and Promotion Council and seven Italian durum milling and pasta manufacturing companies.
“Trade teams help our overseas customers get closer to the market,” said USW Rotterdam Office Marketing Specialist Rutger Koekoek, who recently spoke at the International Grain Summit in Italy by invitation from a 2014 trade team participant. “When I travel, I continue to meet new contacts and have the opportunity to capitalize on the value of a face-to-face conversation. Trade teams are the foundation of building those relationships.”
In 2015, trade team visits will cover 16 states, as well as the District of Columbia. In addition to funding from USDA/Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) market development programs, state wheat commissions support these trips through their checkoff dollars. They also help organize itineraries and accompany the team traveling in their state, playing an essential role in the traditions of trade teams and their history of success.
“Interaction with farmers is one of the biggest benefits of hosting a trade team,” said Kansas Wheat Commission Director of Communications Marsha Boswell. “These buyers appreciate the interaction they get with the Kansas farmers who produce that wheat. Their visits also give us the chance to promote the quality and reliability of Kansas and U.S. wheat.”
To read more about each team as visits continue throughout the year, visit www.uswheat.org/newevents.
U.S. Wheat Sales to Nigeria
1,000 Metric Tons*
*One metric ton = 36.74 bushelsNondiscrimination and Alternate Means of Communications
(June - May)
Data current through June 4, 2015
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