During the week of Sept. 25-29, U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Alexis Taylor is leading an agribusiness trade mission to Chile. U.S. agribusinesses, including U.S. Wheat Associates (USW), are participating in business-to-business meetings with importers from both Chile and Peru.
The trade mission coincides with the USDA-endorsed Espacio Food and Service trade show, a major food show held in Santiago, Chile. USW joined several other U.S agricultural export promotional organizations in a USDA-SaborUSA Chile exhibit at the show. Under Secretary Taylor visited and offered remarks at the USW exhibit on Sept. 26. USW staff from the Santiago office shared these photos.
In the photo at the top of this page, USW Santiago Assistant Regional Director Osvaldo Seco and Program Coordinator Maria Fernanda Martinez show their pride in the USW exhibit with USW Baking Consultant Miguel Seguel.
Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Alexis Taylor (right) is welcomed to the USW section of the SaborUSA Chile exhibit by USW Santiago Regional Director Miguel Galdos.
Greetings from USDA
Under Secretary Taylor making remarks at the SaborUSA Chile exhibit on Sept. 26. Of her visit and the trade delegation she is leading, Taylor said, “As we celebrate the 200th anniversary of U.S.-Chile relations, I am honored to lead such an incredible group as we work with Chilean importers on expanding our bilateral trade even further.”
Quality Wheat, Exquisite Bread
Artisan bread baked by USW consultant Miguel Seguel to demonstrate the quality and versatility of flour milled from U.S. wheat classes had a prominent place in the SaborUSA Chile exhibit at the Espacio Food and Service trade show.
Chile is a well-developed wheat food market with a variety of products available. In 2022, U.S. wheat imports were valued at more than $100 million. Chile is currently ranked among the top 10 U.S. wheat importing countries in marketing year 2023/24 (June to May). Chilean flour millers import U.S. hard red winter (HRW) and hard red spring (HRS) wheat classes to produce flour for bread consumption. The bread is produced mainly by small artisan bakeries, as well as commercial and supermarket bakeries. To serve a growing cookie and cracker demand, U.S. soft red winter (SRW) and soft white (SW) wheat is imported.
Read more about the Chilean market for U.S. agricultural products here.
https://www.uswheat.org/wp-content/uploads/Osvaldo-Maria-Miguel-Seguel-at-SaborUSA-Chile-2023.jpg9001518Steve Mercerhttps://www.uswheat.org/wp-content/uploads/USW-Logo-Full-Color.pngSteve Mercer2023-09-27 14:10:502023-09-27 16:02:08Images from USW Santiago Team’s Participation in USDA Trade Mission to Chile
Three different countries, three different languages, three different cultures and three different sets of consumers. Yet flour millers from Japan, South Korea and Taiwan actually have something in common: They have a strong interest in U.S. wheat.
U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) invited wheat buyers from each country to Bali, Indonesia, August 28 and 29, 2023, for the 2023 USW North Asia Marketing Conference. The conference provides an opportunity for U.S. producers to meet their customers and share information about this year’s wheat crop. It also gives customers the chance to hear about each aspect of the U.S. wheat supply chain and learn about the global wheat market.
“It is a very unique gathering because of the differences in the markets, but our staff in each of the participating offices is able to organize it in a way that brings wheat buyers together with everyone to share information and learn about all the advantages of buying U.S. wheat,” said USW President Vince Peterson. “In fact, you immediately notice a camaraderie as flour millers meet with farmers and others in the U.S. industry.”
The short video below captures some scenes as the conference opened on Aug. 28 in Bali.
https://www.uswheat.org/wp-content/uploads/banner-5-scaled.jpg12392560Ralph Looshttps://www.uswheat.org/wp-content/uploads/USW-Logo-Full-Color.pngRalph Loos2023-08-28 11:56:042023-08-28 11:59:17Video: USW Brings Together Wheat Buyers For ‘Unique’ North Asia Marketing Conference
https://www.uswheat.org/wp-content/uploads/covercovercover.jpg14402560Ralph Looshttps://www.uswheat.org/wp-content/uploads/USW-Logo-Full-Color.pngRalph Loos2023-08-14 11:51:192023-08-14 11:51:19U.S. Wheat Customers in Latin America Voice Appreciation for 2023 Wheat Buyers’ Conference
Customers of U.S. wheat and the U.S. wheat industry gathered in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for the 2023 U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Latin American and Caribbean Wheat Buyers’ Conference. Organized and presented by four USW offices, it is the first buyers’ conference held in the region since 2018. Some scenes from the first day of the conference (August 3) can be seen in this short video . . .
https://www.uswheat.org/wp-content/uploads/fb9.jpg15252450Ralph Looshttps://www.uswheat.org/wp-content/uploads/USW-Logo-Full-Color.pngRalph Loos2023-08-03 16:48:372023-08-03 16:53:00Video: 2023 USW Latin American and Caribbean Wheat Buyers’ Conference
The U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Seoul, South Korea, office commemorated its 50th year of service May 15, 2023, with honored guests from the flour milling, baking, and logistics industries, U.S. government officials, U.S. wheat farmer leaders and colleagues.
Speakers during the event focused on the remarkable growth of the South Korean wheat foods supply system as well as the “ironclad” industrial and national partnership with the United States and USW.
Celebrating the Partnership
USW Country Director Dong-Chan (Channy) Bae kicked off the anniversary program by noting USW’s long-term commitment to helping the South Korean milling and baking industry advance and grow. He affirmed the success of the partnership, saying “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together – and together we have accomplished much.”
In his remarks, USW President Vince Peterson first looked back at the U.S.-South Korea wheat industry relationship. Referencing a 1984 article, Peterson said the author called out South Korea’s growth in U.S. wheat imports as an example of the very successful economic and security linkage between our two countries.
He said South Korea’s first commercial purchase of U.S. wheat in 1972 (following many years of donations under the PL-480 Food for Peace program) created the opportunity to open a U.S. wheat promotion office and more.
Since then, the South Korean milling and baking industry has seen “astounding growth until today when you import an average of 1.4 million metric tons of U.S. wheat and now export ramen products valued at more than $750 million,” Peterson said. “We thank you all and want you to know we remain dedicated to the partnership that helped fuel that growth.”
Chairman Won-Ki Ryu represented the Korea Flour Mills Industrial Association (KOFMIA) and said members of the organization greatly valued the relationship with U.S. farmers and USW.
“Together we have made major accomplishments that have significantly contributed to the advancement of flour milling in our country,” he said.
USW and representatives from Korea’s flour milling and baking industries, and USDA FAS cut a commemorative cake made with U.S. wheat flour by the Korean Baking School to celebrate the 50th anniversary of USW’s office in Seoul, South Korea. Left to Right: Channy Bae, USW Country Director; Darren Padget, USW Past Chairman; In Seok Song, CEO Daehan Flour Mills Co., Ltd.; Won-Ki Ryu, Chairman, KOFMIA; Vince Peterson, USW President; Mark Dries, Ag Minister Counselor, USDA-FAS; Michael Peters, USW Vice Chairman.
A Flagship Commodity
Mark Dries, Agricultural Minister Counselor, with USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, offered heartfelt congratulations to USW on its anniversary. He said milling wheat is now the fifth largest U.S. commodity imported by South Korea.
“We are very pleased to help celebrate this accomplishment. Wheat is one of the flagship export products to South Korea and has helped fuel the amazing innovations we see in bakery products here,” Dries said.
USW was fortunate to have three of its wheat farmer leaders participate in the event in Seoul: Past Chairman Darren Padget of Grass Valley, Oregon; Vice Chairman Michael Peters of Okarche, Oklahoma; and Secretary-Treasurer Clark Hamilton of Ririe, Idaho.
USW Vice President of Overseas Operations Mike Spier also provided an overview of the global and U.S. wheat supply and demand situation. He showed that the now four-year downward trend in ending stocks will likely support world and U.S. wheat prices. He said while U.S. hard red winter wheat supplies will remain tight, the potential for more normal soft white and hard red spring (DNS) wheat crops for 2023 is good. At the same time, Spier said to expect continued volatility given the uncertainty of the Black Sea situation.
Thanks to Colleagues
USW wants to recognize the dedicated work of its Seoul-based colleagues Channy Bae, Country Director, Shin-Hak (David) Oh, Food & Bakery Technologist, and Jin Young Lee, Marketing and Program Coordinator. USW was also pleased that Dr. Won Bang Koh, who served as Country Director for more than 30 years, was able to participate in this special anniversary celebration.
https://www.uswheat.org/wp-content/uploads/IMG_0305-scaled.jpg15092560Steve Mercerhttps://www.uswheat.org/wp-content/uploads/USW-Logo-Full-Color.pngSteve Mercer2023-05-15 22:24:312023-05-17 17:38:58Celebrating a Golden Anniversary of Wheat Promotion in South Korea
U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) in cooperation with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service welcomed close to 200 guests to a South and Southeast Asian Marketing Conference May 9 to 11 in Phuket, Thailand. This was the first such conference in that region since 2012 and comes at a challenging time for the milling and wheat foods business.
“It was great to have everyone back together again,” said Joe Sowers, USW Regional Vice President. “Our regional milling and baking customers are dealing with a lot of uncertainty and market volatility and the pandemic limited our direct service work for a long time, so this is another way for us to demonstrate our commitment to them and why U.S. wheat remains important to their businesses.”
The conference theme, “Building Prosperity Through Partnership,” and presentations reminded customers that USW is committed to being a steadfast partner in both challenging and stable times. The program provided perspective on geopolitical and market forces shaping the regional wheat food industry, an early look at the 2023 U.S. wheat crop, and reports from millers in several South and Southeast Asian countries, including Antonina Sio, Assistant Vice President and General Manager of San Miguel Flour Mills in Batangas, Philippines.
Value in Networking
“I am attending the conference to learn more about the industry, the trends and what’s happening all over the world and, at the same time, to collaborate and network with my counterparts around the region,” Sio said.
Those millers expressed hope that flour demand will grow in the future based on population growth and changing economic factors. To give millers and bakers additional tools to help achieve that growth, USW included technical presentations on using solvent retention capacity analysis to select specific flours that perform best for specific end uses.
“The experience that we gain by learning from Mr. Roy Chung and from conferences like this gives us a lot of knowledge so we can improve our baking skills and improve products for our customers,” said Daniel Tay, Founder of Foodnostics in Singapore.
Growing Wheat is Dirty Work. Presenting to the South and Southeast Asian Marketing Conference May 10, USW Past Chairman Darren Padget, a wheat farmer from Grass Valley, Ore., shared how he calculated (in his own way), how many loaves of bread can be made from the wheat he produces every year on his farm.
Thanks to Sponsors
Several USW farmer board members travelled to Phuket to participate in the conference, as did representatives from sponsoring organizations including the Idaho Wheat Commission, Nebraska Wheat Board, North Dakota Wheat Commission, Oregon Wheat Commission, and Washington Grain Commission. Additional funding was provided by Agrex, Inc., Bunge, Cargill, CHS, CoBank, Columbia Grain, Pacificor, LLC, United Grain Corp., and Viterra.
https://www.uswheat.org/wp-content/uploads/SSEMAC-panel-1.jpg6641200Steve Mercerhttps://www.uswheat.org/wp-content/uploads/USW-Logo-Full-Color.pngSteve Mercer2023-05-11 06:43:032023-05-11 06:43:03USW Holds First South and Southeast Asian Marketing Conference Since 2012
The 2023 South and Southeast Asian Marketing Conference will be held May 9-11 in Phuket, Thailand.
After more than a decade of absence, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) is restarting an event that brings together customers and partners in an important region of the world. The 2023 South and Southeast Asian Marketing Conference will be held May 9-11 in Phuket, Thailand.
“Building Prosperity Through Partnership” is the theme of the conference, which will focus on the value of U.S. wheat and people who produce, supply and support it in the global marketplace. Asian millers, buyers and importers in the region will have the opportunity to meet with U.S. wheat farmers, state wheat associations, USDA representatives and USW technical and marketing staff. Likewise, those from the U.S. wheat industry will be able to interact with customers and potential customers.
The conference will include input from major flour mills in the region, with a panel discussion focused on the perspective of millers in Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar and the Philippines.
“We recognized that the time had come to revitalize the conference to engage the trade and visit with our dedicated customers in the region,” said Joe Sowers, USW Regional Vice President for South and Southeast Asia. “At the same time, there are opportunities to make new customers while also tackling challenges and identifying ideas for business growth. We have a top-notch lineup of speakers and presenters, along with a host of panel discussions that address critical issues in 2023 and beyond.”
USW’s Wheat Letter Blog will provide regular updates from the conference. Videos and blog posts will appear on the site throughout the event.
https://www.uswheat.org/wp-content/uploads/IMG_1089-scaled-1.jpg19202560Ralph Looshttps://www.uswheat.org/wp-content/uploads/USW-Logo-Full-Color.pngRalph Loos2023-04-27 11:37:062023-04-27 12:43:31‘Building Prosperity Through Partnership’ Theme of Revitalized USW Conference for Trade in South, Southeast Asia
Educators describe internal training sessions as “learning so we can teach.” The U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) version for its staff dives a few rungs deeper than that.
“The goal is to learn and do so we can, in turn, teach our customers around the world,” is how Miguel Galdos, Regional Director of the USW South American Region Office, puts it.
USW recently hosted – and participated in – the 2023 Core Competency Training, held this year in Santiago, Chile. Much more than a simple training session, the USW workshop brought together USW technical staff, board members and partners for a series of reviews and refreshers on wheat research, product development, market updates and strategy building. Meeting the needs of U.S. wheat buyers, end-users and consumers around the globe was the mission.
USW staff, board members and partners recently participated in the 2023 Core Competency Training in Santiago, Chile. The training sessions were designed to provide participants with tools to help share information and work with U.S. wheat customers around the world.
“It was an unbeatable opportunity to bring together USW colleagues and be able to review relevant issues regarding many things, including our U.S. wheat crop quality analysis methods,” said Galdos. “Participants also had the opportunity to compare baking results with different origins of wheat, as well as share success experiences in each of the international markets. Additionally, we had the opportunity to evaluate future instances of collaboration with partner organizations that provide support to USW.”
USW Past Chair Darren Padget and current Chair Rhonda Larson work together on a baking assignment during the Core Competency Training in Santiago.
Experiences during the Core Competency Training is fundamental: U.S. wheat is the most reliable choice, and its quality is unmatched. So information provided during the workshop is designed to help USW staff share information about U.S. wheat’s advantages when it comes to end-products, such as noodles, crackers, biscuits, tortillas, breads, and other baked products.
There is also a chance to meet with staff from other offices to share information.
Oregon wheat farmer and USW Past Chairman Darren Padget, Minnesota wheat farmer and USW Chair Rhonda Larson, and North Dakota wheat farmer Jim Pellman participated in this year’s training. The noted that the opportunity for USW colleagues to train together is very valuable.
“The format is very focused and was a great way to make sure the technical and marketing teams are pulling on the same oar in every market,” Padget said.
USW staff took time to memorialize the late Mark Fowler, USW’s Vice President of Global Technical Services, who passed away Feb, 20. Fowler was instrumental in creating the USW Core Competency Training program. He also played a major role in the development of the new laboratory in Santiago where USW has now placed a plaque in his memory.
https://www.uswheat.org/wp-content/uploads/Group-shot.jpg458864Ralph Looshttps://www.uswheat.org/wp-content/uploads/USW-Logo-Full-Color.pngRalph Loos2023-04-12 15:07:502023-04-12 15:07:50‘Learn So We Can Teach’ Was One Goal of USW’s 2023 Core Competency Training in Santiago
Early spring – before the harvest of winter wheat and the planting of spring wheat – is a perfect time to highlight tools U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) provides to inform U.S. wheat farmers and their customers around the world.
It’s also a good time to remind readers of this blog how to access those USW tools.
USW Price Report
USW gathers information from market sources to compile timely reports on prices and export sales of U.S. wheat. The USW Price Report, which is sent to subscribers each Friday, also includes updates on market conditions and input from people involved in each step of the wheat trading process.
Monitoring the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), Kansas City Board of Trade (KCBOT) and Minneapolis Grain Exchange (MGEX) wheat futures is only part of the process.
“A huge component is talking with the grain trade, farmers and other industry representatives to get a firsthand account of what is going on in the market and how it is impacting wheat prices,” explained USW Market Analysis Tyllor Ledford, who is responsible for the USW Price Report. “By reaching out to each segment of the trade process, I try to get as balanced view as I can of what is going on in the wheat marketplace and really understand what is driving movements.”
Click HERE to sign up to receive USW’s Price Report.
Whether it’s harvest season, planting season – or the brief windows of time in between – USW provides several products and platforms to keep wheat farmers and customers informed. All you need to do is sign up.
USW Commercial Sales Report
While the USW Price Report includes an update on commercial sales of U.S. wheat, more detailed information is available in the USW Commercial Sales Report, published each Thursday on the USW website and also compiled by Ledford.
Using data sourced from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Weekly Export Sales Report, the Commercial Sales Report contains wheat export sales-to-date by country and class for the current marketing year compared to the previous marketing year on the same date. The report also includes a 10-year commercial sales history by class and country.
Beginning in May and running through mid-October, USW and partner organizations compile updates on crop quality, harvest progress and crop conditions for hard red winter (HRW), soft red winter (SRW), hard red spring (HRS), soft white (SW) and durum wheat.
“The weekly harvest report is an example of how we keep everyone in the industry regularly updated on the wheat crop and current market conditions,” said USW Vice President of Programs Erica Oakley, who handles compilation of the Harvest Report. “We gather information about each class and each state that is in the process of harvest. It’s a very helpful way to monitor production throughout the harvest season.”
Click HERE to sign up to receive USW’s Harvest Report.
If you are reading this, you likely already subscribe to USW’s Wheat Letter, a blog and news source that focuses on issues facing U.S. wheat farmers – trade policy, crop quality and other pertinent wheat industry news.
The blog is updated regularly throughout the week, with a newsletter-style collection of those blog posts emailed to subscribers every other Thursday.
Click HERE to sign up to receive USW’s Wheat Letter. You can also pass this link along to someone who would be interested in subscribing.
Articles of Interest
Early each morning, USW Director of Programs Catherine Miller compiles Articles of Interest, a daily news report by conducting web searches to identify industry-related news articles. The goal is to help keep everyone updated on issues and events that may affect the U.S. wheat industry.
“It’s a news brief that highlights a variety of topics, including trade policy issues, supply and demand situations, wheat research and breeding crop conditions and news that involves the people who work in the industry,” said Miller. “We see it as a food way to start the day with the latest news and serves as a platform to share important stories an articles from all over the world.”
To be considered for the USW Articles of Interest mailing list, email [email protected].
The newest platform in USW’s social media offerings is the USW YouTube Channel, which holds a growing number of USW-produced videos featuring USW staff, activities and partners.
Taeyoung Grain Terminal’s CEO took time from his busy schedule March 8, 2023, to meet with U.S. farmers from Idaho, Montana and Nebraska and explain what happens when a shipment of imported U.S. wheat arrives in South Korea (photo above).
It was a fitting way for the U.S. Wheat Associates’ (USW) 2023 North Asia Board Team to wrap up its 10-day exploration of top Asian markets.
“We’ve been able to see every step, where demand for our wheat is created at the consumer level, to the baking process where flour is used as the ingredient, to the milling process where flour is made with our wheat, and now to the import process, which is how our wheat gets to the market in the first place,” explained Bob Delsing, a Nebraska wheat producer and Nebraska Wheat Board member.
Delsing took note of another important detail, too.
“The other farmers and I on the trip really noticed the respect people have shown us,” Delsing added. “The end of the Korea visit was a perfect example. Tae Hyun Yeo, who leads grain terminal as CEO, seemed happy to spend time with us and get to know us. We saw that over and over on this trip.”
USW Country Director Rick Nakano discusses Japan’s milling and baking industry with 2023 USW North Asia Board Team members (l to r) Bob Delsing, Keven Bradley, Bill Flory and Kent Kupfner.
Representing the USW Board of Directors, the team arrived in the Philippines on Feb. 28, then made stops in Japan and South Korea to meet customers of U.S. wheat. A return to the U.S. is scheduled for March 10.
“It was exciting to have the Board Team in Tokyo, and in fact it is the first team we’ve hosted since before the pandemic,” said USW Japan Director Rick Nakano. “The goal was to give the farmers a look at the market and how USW works to create demand for U.S. wheat. Our customers were eager to meet face-to-face with this team and get a perspective from wheat growers. Our customers also wanted to share what they need to help their businesses. We had some exceptionally good discussions.”
Compliments on Quality, Questions About Supply
Two overlying themes dominated each meeting between the USW team and flour millers in each of the three Asian markets: quality and supply.
“Our members are always very satisfied with U.S. wheat’s quality – never a question,” Jeong-seop Park, director of the Korea Flour Mills Industrial Association (KOFMIA), offered during a meeting between the team and his organization. “We have come to rely on that quality and we wish to show appreciation for the work U.S. farmers do to assure it in every crop.”
The 2023 USW North Asia Board Team met with members of the Korean Flour Millers Industrial Association at the KOFMIA headquarters in Seoul, South Korea.
Like other customers the USW team met in the Philippines, Japan and Korea, KOFMIA asked each farmer about the status of his current wheat crop and projections for 2023 success come harvest time.
Questions in each market were centered on the supply of wheat from the United States.
“Those are difficult questions to answer this time of year because we won’t know about our winter wheat crop until later in the spring, but I feel they were satisfied with our answers and I feel they understand,” said Bradley, who has roughly 5,400 acres of hard red winter wheat (HRW) wheat in the ground on his Montana farm. “This was my first visit to a foreign market, so I learned a lot about our customers in each of the countries we visited. It’s an eye-opening experience and you see the value of the U.S. Wheat Associates offices in each market. The [USW] staff does a great job interacting with our customers.”
Members of the 2023 USW North Asia Board Team toured the Sajodongaone Dangjin flour mill March 7, 2023. Here, USW Seoul Food/Bakery Technologist Shin Hak “David” Oh translates the mill manager’s explanation of this display of flour streams the mill creates for Korean bakeries.
JFMA members pointed to the long relationship Japanese millers have had with U.S. producers. Recent high prices for U.S. wheat have been a concern, along with future production. However, officials made it clear they understand how weather affects the wheat crop and that they trust U.S. farmers.
JFMA Executive Director Yasuo Sasaki sought input from the USW Team about their farms and the business challenges they face.
USW Tokyo Country Director Rick Nakano (far right) introduces the the 2023 USW North Asia Board Team to members of the Japan Flour Millers Association.
“High-quality wheat is what we need in Japan to satisfy our customers and consumers and we also need a reliable supply of that high-quality wheat,” said Sasaki. “We know we can count on U.S. farmers to come through.”
Kupfner, a former wheat trader and grain company manager, went into the Japan part of the trip interested in growth opportunities for U.S. wheat.
“What we saw in Japan was a large urban population with an appetite for all kinds of food, but especially top-quality foods,” he said. “It’s a very consistent market and we want to maintain U.S. wheat’s place in it.”
While not a “North Asian” market, the Bakery Fair provided a special opportunity for this Board Team. During the Fair’s opening ceremony, Flory was invited to provide remarks on behalf of the U.S. wheat industry. He shared his appreciation for the long relationship between U.S. wheat and the Philippines.
“From our farms to you” is the salutation Flory used to end his address to bakers and industry partners gathered. He shared his appreciation for the long relationship between U.S. wheat and the Philippines.
“We have had a long connection and we have had a long record of success together,” said Flory, a member of the USW Board of Directors and current Chair of the Wheat Marketing Center board. “We know that you rely on us to supply you with the wheat you need and desire. We want you to know that we take pride in that.”
https://www.uswheat.org/wp-content/uploads/Taeyoug-Grain-Terminal-2.jpg7681091Steve Mercerhttps://www.uswheat.org/wp-content/uploads/USW-Logo-Full-Color.pngSteve Mercer2023-03-08 17:30:212023-03-08 18:22:36USW’s North Asia Board Team Wrapping Up Visit to Three Vital Markets