ARLINGTON, Virginia — Reliable ingredient sourcing and supply are key to any market functioning successfully. For 15 years, Nigerian millers have traveled to the United States to take stock of their primary supply of HRW wheat. This year, two milling executives from South Africa and Ghana are joining five Nigerians on a team that will travel to Texas, Kansas, North Dakota and Minnesota June 12 to 24, 2016, to assess trade opportunities and U.S. wheat quality.
“The milling industries in these countries rely on an uninterrupted supply of quality wheat,” said Gerald Theus, USW regional assistant director for Sub-Saharan Africa in the regional Cape Town, South Africa office. “In competitive markets where we face new challenges, there is nothing more valuable than connecting these participants directly with the farmers and other members of the supply chain.”
USW collaborated with the Texas Wheat Board, Kansas Wheat Commission, North Dakota Wheat Commission and Minnesota Research and Promotion Council to organize and host this trade team. Theus and James Ogunyemi, USW technical consultant for the Lagos, Nigeria, office, will lead the team.
In marketing year 2015/16 (June to May), Nigeria was once again one of the largest buyers of all U.S. wheat classes and is the dominant buyer in USW’s Sub-Saharan Africa region having imported more than 1 million metric tons (MMT) of hard red winter (HRW). The market development activities USW followed there provides a foundation for other nearby countries including Ghana. South Africa is a steady if not large wheat importer but with good potential.
“This team represents major milling groups in each of their respective countries,” said Theus. “Mills throughout Africa appreciate the high milling quality characteristics of U.S. wheat and its superior baking aspects.”
Bringing these buyers to see U.S. wheat quality and to discuss ways to keep their importing costs down is a very important activity during a time of very aggressive competition. Throughout the tour, the team will meet with various grain merchandisers and state wheat commissions, and visit farmers in each state to see the progress of the 2016/17 wheat crop. In Texas, the team will visit the Port of Corpus Christi and in Kansas, their stops include the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center, USDA’s Center for Grain and Animal Health Research and IGP Institute. During their travel to North Dakota and Minnesota, the team will meet with wheat breeders and tour the Alton Grain Terminal, Duluth Seaway Port Authority and CHS Export Terminal.
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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