ARLINGTON, Virginia — Two executives representing Korean flour milling companies will chase combines in the Palouse region of Washington and the Columbia Valley of Oregon July 26 to Aug.1, 2015, to get a first look at this year’s wheat crop. Their visit, which includes a stop in Portland, OR, to learn more about the U.S. wheat supply system, is sponsored by U.S. Wheat Associates (USW), the Washington Grain Commission and the Oregon Wheat Commission.
The guests are Mr. Ha Jae Lee, who is the factory managing director of Daehan Flour Mills Co., Ltd., and Mr. Jeom Dae Kim, who is the managing director of Samwha Flour Mills Co., Ltd. Their guide is Chang Yoon Kang, USW country director based in Seoul, Korea, who said they hope to see soft white (SW), hard red winter (HRW) and possibly hard red spring (HRS) wheat being harvested.
“These are buyers for a market that is increasingly sophisticated so it is very important that they see this year’s crops,” Kang said. “Gaining a better understanding of the entire wheat chain, from the farm to the export elevator, will also help give them greater confidence in U.S. wheat supplies.”
In marketing year 2014/15 (June to May) Korea’s millers imported more than 43.3 million bushels of U.S. SW, HRS and HRW wheat sourced from Pacific Northwest and northern plains fields. While Korean millers import most of their wheat from the United States, Canadian spring wheat is also imported to blend with U.S. classes for bread flour. Australian white wheat is preferred for Korean style noodles, but USW is working to flank that market by helping its customers introduce whole wheat products made with flour from U.S. wheat as a healthy noodle choice.
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 (FAS).
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