By Catherine Miller, USW Program and Planning Coordinator

U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) believes customer engagement, supply chain transparency and accessible global market information are the building blocks for robust relationships with U.S. wheat customers.

USW often partners with organizations that offer a variety of short courses related to the global wheat supply chain and processing industries, providing the opportunity for customer engagement and education. These partners include Northern Crops Institute (NCI) at North Dakota State University (NDSU) in Fargo, N.D., IGP Institute at Kansas State University (KSU) in Manhattan, K.S., and Wheat Marketing Center (WMC) in Portland, Oregon.

In 2019, USW sponsored 81 participants from Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe at eight short courses and four workshops at IGP, NCI and WMC.

USW Market Analyst with NCI’s Brian Sorenson during the 2019 Grain Procurement short course. Read more about this course here: 

In addition, USW staff and consulting experts who may be associated with the educational partner organizations, conduct such courses or workshops. Funding for the educational service is provided primarily by export market development programs directed by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

Wherever they are held, these courses are focused on helping customers better understand the U.S. grain marketing system from farm to port, U.S. wheat classes and risk management needed to ensure future purchases provide the best value. With the different courses offered, USW can serve participants from such diverse backgrounds as millers, bakers, end-product manufacturers and buyers.

A core educational program that USW offers is the “Contracting for Value Workshop.” It is designed to help customers gain greater knowledge of supply chain management challenges and opportunities to write tenders for U.S. wheat that will yield the greatest return on their investment.

While this workshop is typically hosted at one of the U.S. educational organizations, this year USW’s team in the Mexico, Central America and Caribbean Region decided to hold workshops in Mexico City and Chihuahua, Mexico. Agricultural Economics Professor Frayne Olson of North Dakota State University, who supports short courses held at NCI, joined USW staff to conduct the workshops in October 2019.

USW Vice President Steve Wirsching presenting in Chihuahua, Mexico

“By doing the workshops in-country, USW staff and consultants could meet with the entire management teams at two different mills in a week,” said Stephanie Bryant-Erdmann, USW Assistant Regional Director. “Having the general managers and owners as well as the production, storage, quality and purchasing staff all together was invaluable because while they were learning about U.S. wheat quality, we also could see consensus being built on the specifications as the teams identified the wheat characteristics that had the most value for them.”

This commitment to customer service before and after U.S. wheat is imported is one of the unique legacies represented by USW’s partnership with farmers, the U.S. government, state wheat commissions and our educational partner organizations.

Header Photo Caption: Contracting for Value Workshop in Chihuahua, Mexico

2019 Contracting for Wheat Value team from China in Montana.

NCI Pasta Production and Tech Course

Philippine-Korean Bakery Workshop at the Wheat Marketing Center.


2019 Grain Purchasing short course at the IGP Institute.


As a key part of its commitment to transparency and trade service, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) produces an annual Crop Quality Report that includes grade, flour and baking data for all six U.S. wheat classes. The report compiles comprehensive data from analysis of hundreds of samples conducted during and after harvest by our partner organizations and laboratories. The report provides essential, objective information to help buyers get the wheat they need at the best value possible.

The 2019 USW Crop Quality Report is now available for download in English, Spanish, French and Italian, and will be available in Chinese and Arabic soon. USW also shares more detailed, regional reports for all six U.S. wheat classes on its website, as well as additional information on its sample and collection methods, solvent retention capacity (SRC) recommendations, standard deviation tables and more. Download these reports and resources from the website here.

USW’s annual Crop Quality Seminars are already underway and will continue over the next month around the world. USW invites its overseas customers, including buyers, millers and processors, to these seminars led by USW staff, U.S. wheat farmers, state wheat commission staff and educational partner organizations. The seminars dive into grade factors, protein levels, flour extraction rates, dough stability, baking loaf volume, noodle color and texture and more for all six U.S. wheat classes and are tailored to focus on the needs and trends in each regional market.

In 2019, USW is projected to host 43 seminars in 41 countries, including official seminars in the South America region for the first time in several years.

Customers have previously shared that they use the report throughout the year as a reference manual and to guide them through purchases and future planning. The seminars allow U.S. and USW experts to interpret the data and how to use it. Customers will often use the seminars and report as educational training for new employees.

The reports and seminars have been a traditional part of USW’s strategy since 1959, growing to become its single largest marketing activity.

Look for updates from the 2019 USW Crop Quality Seminars on Facebook and Twitter.


By Claire Hutchins, USW Market Analyst  

U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) believes customer engagement, supply chain transparency and accessible global market information are the building blocks for robust relationships with U.S. wheat customers. Every year, USW partners with the Northern Crops Institute (NCI) at North Dakota State University (NDSU) in Fargo, N.D., to offer NCI’s annual Grain Procurement Management for Importers Course.

This month, USW hosted 19 U.S. wheat customers including international procurement managers, supply chain managers, mill managers, wheat traders, agronomists and other industry executives at the eight-day course focused on the grain merchandising process. The course provided an overview of the U.S. grain handling and marketing system and the risk management tools available to help buyers purchase U.S. grains that meet their quality needs at the best value possible.

Daily lectures by industry experts and distinguished NDSU professors helped customers learn about cash and futures markets, risk management strategies, contracting for wheat value, USDA grain inspection services and U.S. and global supply and demand fundamentals. In addition to classroom lectures, course participants experienced the U.S. grain handling system through farm tours, country elevator visits, grain export facility tours and short seminars held at the Minneapolis Grain Exchange and various grain merchandising company offices in the Minneapolis, Minn., area

USW Market Analyst, Claire Hutchins, and NCI Programs Manager, Brian Sorenson tour a wheat farm in Casselton, N.D. after a day of NCI risk management courses at NDSU in Fargo, N.D.

Dr. Bill Wilson, NDSU professor of applied economics, presented on the U.S. grain transportation system, export basis, normal and inverted markets, pricing spreads and buyer decision timing, and alternative hedging strategies to help importers minimize price risk. Wilson emphasized the role USW’s weekly Price Report plays in price discovery to help buyers understand current U.S. wheat market conditions.

Dr. Frayne Olsen, NDSU professor of applied economics, led participants through a futures trading simulation in NDSU’s commodity trading lab, the largest in the world, which helped participants understand the fundamentals of standardized wheat trading through the U.S. futures markets. Through a futures buying exercise, he taught buyers how to minimize risk by identifying ideal buying opportunities in the futures market. Olsen also focused on the significance of fundamental analysis (supply and demand factors) in marketing decisions. He explained how to read USDA’s monthly Supply and Demand Report so importers better understand USDA surveying and statistical analysis in building each report.

Dr. David Bullock, NDSU associate research professor, lectured participants on basic hedging principals. This section helped buyers understand how to balance cash and futures positions while keeping risk at an acceptable level. He also instructed participants on options trading, which is another risk management tool ideal for importers.

Brandon Mortensen, BNSF market manager, educated participants on the intricacies of the U.S. rail transportation system. He emphasized the efficiency of the U.S. supply chain based on railroad investments in shuttle (110 to 120 cars) trains over the past few years. Mortensen explained that exports account for two thirds of all BNSF grain shipments and that BNSF works day in and day out with shippers to keep an effective system running to the benefit of U.S commodity importers.

NCI Grain Procurement Management for Importers Course participants watch elevator experts grade spring wheat according to USDA standards at a country elevator in Alton, N.D.

USW Vice President and West Coast Office Director Steve Wirsching educated participants on contracting for wheat value. He emphasized the need for buyers to have as much information as sellers when it comes to crop quality and supply so buyers can write import tenders to get the best end-use value. Wirsching encouraged buyers to communicate regularly with sellers and to build relationships with USW overseas staff.

Mike Krueger, an independent grain industry consultant, and Jim Peterson, North Dakota Wheat Commission policy and marketing director, discussed global and U.S. supply and demand factors affecting wheat prices. Peterson emphasized the difficult planting and harvesting conditions many U.S. producers faced during the 2019 growing season, especially in North Dakota, where much of the country’s spring wheat and durum is grown.

Participants also went on several tours during the course, including a CHS export facility in Superior, Wis. In a first for the NCI course, Ryan Caffrey, CHS senior durum merchant, took participants aboard a durum export vessel bound for Tunisia After the tour, representatives from USDA and the Duluth-Superior Seaway Port Authority educated participants on USDA wheat-grading practices and on the Duluth-Superior export system.

International wheat buyers tour outbound vessel at CHS export facility in Superior, Wisc. This ship will take approximately 11,000 metric tons (MT) of durum wheat to Tunisia.

Next, officials from the Minneapolis Grain Exchange (MGEX) shared the history of the exchange and current functions of the exchange in the U.S. and global marketplace. Frontier Futures broker Adam Knosalla talked about spring wheat buying opportunities, including the fact that MGEX spring wheat futures hit ten-year lows just a few weeks ago. Participants then travelled to Cargill headquarters to learn about its history, international contracts and arbitration. There was also a visit to CHS headquarters to learn about its grain merchandising practices.

NCI is a collaborative effort among North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Montana to support the promotion and market development of crops grown in this four-state region. It is an international meeting and learning center with a mission to support regional agriculture and value-added processing by conducting educational and technical programs that expand and maintain domestic and international markets for northern grown crops. USW and NCI believe strong relationships between customers and sellers of U.S. wheat build lasting, transparent relationships that last well into the future. NCI’s 36th annual Grain Procurement Management for Importers Course, and many like it in the future, will continue to build strong connections between U.S. exporters and international importers of U.S. wheat.

Header Photo Caption: USW Regional Program and Marketing Specialist Domenique Opperman; photo courtesy of Northern Crops Institute

By Dalton Henry, USW Vice President of Policy

Representatives from the Taiwan Flour Millers Association (TFMA) are in Washington, D.C. this week to sign letters of intent for the purchase of wheat and other U.S. grown commodities over the next two years. The trip is part of a biennial Agricultural Trade Goodwill Mission that takes TFMA delegates to both D.C. and major wheat-producing states. During their trip, the delegation is also making stops in Oklahoma, South Dakota and Idaho to meet with farmers, grain handlers and state officials before returning to Taiwan.

The Republic of China, known as Taiwan, is consistently a top ten market for U.S. wheat. TFMA imports wheat on behalf of all 20 Taiwanese flour mills and has imported far more wheat from the United States compared to other origins, at an average of 1.07 million metric tons (38.9 million bushels) per year since marketing year 2014/2015.

“We have long had mutually beneficial trade relations with the Taiwan milling and flour products industry,” said Vince Peterson, USW President. “They continue to be a reliable trading partner that fully recognizes the value of purchasing quality U.S. grown wheat”

Members of the Taiwan delegation in Idaho with state commissioner Joe Anderson.

This year, a team of four flour millers is joining the delegation of association representatives.

Significant hard red spring (HRS) imports reflect a need for strong gluten flour for breads, rolls and frozen dough products as well as for blending with hard red winter (HRW) to make traditional Chinese flour foods and noodles. Year-to-date sales to Taiwan in marketing year 2018/19 (June to May) are up 11% from 2017/18. Imports of soft white (SW), including Western White (a blend of SW and up to 20% club), help meet growing demand for cake, cookie and pastry flours.

Follow U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) on Facebook and Twitter for pictures from this weeks activities.


U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) works directly with overseas buyers to answer questions and resolve issues in purchasing, shipping or processing U.S. wheat through technical support and trade service including trade delegations to the United States, regular crop and market condition updates, quality surveys and other activities.

Two examples in South America confirm that USW’s face-to-face interaction with customers has a direct influence on purchase decisions. For an large flour miller buying group in Chile, processing a sample of U.S. wheat and personally observing the U.S. supply system convinced the group to purchase U.S. wheat again. And for a large miller and wheat foods producer in Ecuador, consistent trade service led to a first-time U.S. wheat purchase.

Seeing is Believing.

Chile’s Grupo 9 (G9) purchases about 30% of Chile’s imported wheat but had for several years been importing Canadian spring wheat that was priced aggressively against U.S. hard red spring (HRS) and hard red winter (HRW) wheat. Through USDA Foreign Agricultural Service programs, USW provided a sample of U.S. hard red winter (HRW) and sponsored two G9 millers to participate in a 2017 visit to the United States. Based on the positive reaction to these activities, USW’s representatives in South America invited another influential G9 representative to join another trade team to the United States in June 2018.

In Portland, Ore., the participants made contacts with new Pacific Northwest grain traders and observed the FGIS grain inspection process. In Nebraska, hosted by the Nebraska Wheat Board, the team saw public HRW breeding research at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and in North Dakota they learned about the quality of the 2018/19 hard red spring (HRS) crop from the North Dakota Wheat Commission and Northern Crops Institute.

2018 Chile-Ecuador Trade Team in North Dakota at the Northern Crops Institute.

As the tour progressed, USW saw more and more interest from the participants. They learned that lower moisture U.S. wheat offers good value in their milling processes. They saw how they could use inspection data to get maximum return from their wheat import contracts. They also talked to farmers and elevator operators who showed how quality is maintained throughout the supply chain.

In September 2018, the G9 buyer told USW it was considering purchasing a full cargo of U.S. wheat. USW shared the quality data from the new harvest and past years and discussed the excellent buying opportunities. In April 2019, the buyer purchased U.S. HRW to mill into bread flour and soft red winter (SRW) to mill into cookie and pastry flour. And to continue the long-term commitment to serving the buyers group, USW sponsored the same manager to participate in the “Hard Red Spring Wheat Quality Tour” in North Dakota in July 2019.

2018 Chile-Ecuador Trade Team in North Dakota.

G9’s return to buying U.S. wheat helped significantly increase export sales to Chile in 2018/19. It is a trend that has continued into 2019/20. With a sustained effort focused on replacing Canadian supplies, USW can report that after only the first three months of the marketing year, the country’s HRW imports are already twice what they were in 2018/19 at this same time.

Constant Support

Sucesores of Jacobo Paredes M. S.A, is the largest pasta producer in Ecuador and is a major bread product producer. Its purchases represent about 10% of Ecuador’s total wheat imports for food. Mr. Xavier Sanchez is the owner of the company and is responsible for its wheat purchases. Mr. Sanchez and his team have attended virtually all the activities that USW has carried out in Ecuador. However, by tradition and experience, the company has milled only Canadian spring wheat to produce both pasta and bread flour.

USW has focused its technical support on demonstrating how the company can lower its costs and improve its bread quality by replacing at least some Canadian spring wheat with U.S. HRW. In July 2019, Mr. Sanchez participated in a USW “Wheat Purchasing Seminar,” in Quito, Ecuador. He told USW representatives based in Santiago, Chile, that USW’s constant support, along with the information he received at the seminar, had convinced him to make their first purchase of U.S. wheat. Initially, Jacobo Paredes bought 3,000 metric tons (MT) of HRW min 12% pro from the Gulf of Mexico to arrive in October 2019. Recently, the company made a second purchase of 1,500 MT of HRW to arrive in December. Mr. Sanchez said he counts on USW support, which finally made the difference in the company’s purchase decision.

2019 Wheat Purchasing Seminar in Ecuador.

Now, USW’s technical support will be applied to ensure that the U.S. wheat experience will provide the best possible value. USW will visit the mill when the first HRW wheat shipment arrives to help Jacobo Paredes with sampling, conditioning and milling, in addition to helping the company formulate the best flour blend for their bakery.

For more information about USW’s exceptional trade service and technical support, please contact your local USW office.


Header Photo Caption: 2017 Chile Trade Team in Washington.


Original news release by the National Association of Wheat Growers published here.

The Senate Committee on Agriculture held a hearing July 31, 2019, looking at perspectives around reauthorizing the Grain Standards Act. Brian Linin, a wheat farmer from Goodland, Kan., testified on behalf of the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) on the importance of reauthorizing the Grain Standards Act. Linin also serves as a board member of the U.S. Wheat Associates and works for Frontier Ag, Inc.

Highlights from his testimony can be found below:

“The Grain Standards Act serves a critical role in exporting grains and oilseeds, including U.S. wheat, of which about 50% is exported each year. With such a large volume of wheat being exported, our export markets are critical to wheat farmers’ bottom lines…”

“The grain inspection system is one that is valued by our overseas customers and adds value to our commodities. Foreign customers can be assured that an independent agency has certified shipments to meet the grade requirements specified in a contract. This certainty and reliability has helped wheat and other U.S. commodities to grow our export markets and serves as a significant advantage of purchasing U.S. wheat versus wheat from other origins…”

Brian Linin and Senator Pat Roberts (KS).

“A properly functioning grain inspection system is critical, and we urge Congress to reauthorize the Grain Standards Act this year. Despite the significant impacts of tariffs on exports, U.S. wheat has maintained some competitiveness in the international market in part thanks to the advantage and premium international buyers place on the U.S. grain inspection system.”

“Given the current uncertainty in trade agreements and many of the bearish factors working against U.S. wheat exports, it is critical we maintain one of our key advantages. Foreign and domestic customers value an independent agency certifying shipments to meet the grade requirements of contracts.”

To read Brian Linin’s testimony in its entirety, visit NAWG’s site here.


Under the Agricultural Trade Promotion (ATP) program administered by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), U.S. wheat farmers recently welcomed additional support for the effort to build overseas demand for the high-quality wheat they produce.

FAS awarded $8.2 million to U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) in cost-share assistance in May 2019 and awarded an additional $2.6 million on July 19 earmarked for wheat export promotion through September 2022. To apply for the funding USW was required to demonstrate that wheat farmers were hurt by import barriers laid down as a result of trade disputes. In 2018, USW reported that farmers had experienced losses of more than $330 million as a result of China’s retaliatory tariffs on wheat and a slow down in imports by Mexico.

José Luis Fuente, President of Camara Nacional de LA Industria Molinera de Trigo (CANIMOLT) at the USW Mexico Wheat Trade Conference, June 2 to 4, 2019.

USW will do all it can to use these additional resources as effectively as possible and demonstrate how the addition of ATP funds will help grow new opportunities for wheat farmers and differential service for overseas customers. These include on-going efforts to develop emerging wheat export markets in Myanmar, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia as well as niche soft wheat markets in the Middle East and North Africa.

USW is already putting these ATP funds to work. In June, USW held a very successful conference for Mexican wheat buyers that brought together wheat farmers, the grain trade and flour millers who represent more than 80% of Mexico’s total wheat import volume. USW sees growth potential in Chile and with ATP funding sponsored a representative of a large Chilean buyers’ group to participate in the recent Wheat Quality Council’s annual hard red spring (HRS) wheat tour in North Dakota. ATP funding is now helping build increased awareness of U.S. wheat’s superior baking quality in flour blends in the large regional market around Bogotá, Colombia.

These ATP funds come at a critical juncture for the U.S. wheat industry, said USW President Vince Peterson.

Participants take measurements to estimate yield at the recent 2019 Spring Wheat Quality Tour in North Dakota.

“We appreciated the support for the traditional Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development program in the most recent Farm Bill,” he said. “However, those program apportionments have remained essentially unchanged for 17 years with FMD and 13 years with MAP and the ravages of time and inflation have eaten away at their effective bottom lines. This renewed financial capability is an important response that will help USW adequately address both today’s trade challenges and tomorrow’s new market opportunities.”

Peterson cited several trade challenges. Mexico for example is a leading buyer of U.S. wheat, but almost everything about that relationship depends now on the passage of the pending U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on Trade. In Japan, a strong preference for several U.S. wheat classes there is threatened by the growing tariff advantage for Canadian and Australian wheat supplies under the new Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. Since March 2018, China has turned to Canada to supply what had been U.S. wheat before tariffs were implemented and just this week its government announced changes that will make it possible to import Russian grain supplies. USW is encouraged by apparent progress in those negotiations reported on July 31.

The Trump Administration’s support through the ATP program, combined with the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), is welcomed by wheat farmers affected by low prices and other risks related to on-going trade challenges. It is no exaggeration to say that the long-term health of an industry that contributes about $6 billion per year to wheat farm families and U.S. wheat supply businesses hinges on a swift and favorable end to the on-going trade disputes.

*Header Photo Caption: Panel on “Optimizing Rail Operations of U.S. Wheat Shipments and Minimizing Additional Expenses for Mexican Importers.” at the USW Mexico Wheat Trade Conference, June 2 to 4, 2019.


By Casey Chumrau, USW Marketing Manager, Santiago Office

The Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) may be somewhat unfamiliar to most farmers but serves as a major competitive advantage for U.S. grains on the international market. Based on two congressional acts establishing a standardized inspection process, all wheat exported from the United States is inspected and given a grade as it is loaded onto the export vessel, whether it be a train or ship. This independent process sets the United States apart by providing a form of certainty and protection for buyers.

An official FGIS grade certificate is sent to buyers before the vessel arrives, allowing them to make important production decisions in advance based on the characteristics of the wheat before it arrives. In addition, the buyer knows that an independent agency will certify that every shipment meets the grade requirements specified in their contract, avoiding costly conflicts between the buyer and seller. The U.S. farmer works hard to produce a high-quality crop demanded by the market, and the FGIS inspection process helps maintain that quality all the way to the end user. This is a significant differential advantage of purchasing U.S. wheat versus other origins.

FGIS has an international affairs office that provides educational training programs explaining the roll and procedures of the agency. U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) has used this service many times over the years, most recently July 15 to 19, 2019, in Peru, an import market of about 2.0 million metric tons (73.5 million bushels). FGIS agent Jose Robinson traveled to Peru to conduct half-day seminars in the five largest wheat importing companies in the country. Robinson gave presentations and demonstrated parts of the inspection process to 53 participants from the quality control departments of the five mills. The participants shared their processes with Robinson, showed examples of the wheat they inspected in plant and were able to test their abilities to conduct similar inspections while receiving guidance from an expert.

The participants gained a deeper understanding of the FGIS inspection protocol and testing methods and left with increased trust and confidence in the FGIS certification process. The changes implemented in the mills following the training sessions will result in fewer discrepancies between the FGIS grade and the results of local, in-plant inspections, leading to increased satisfaction with U.S. wheat.

The ability to send an FGIS agent overseas allows USW to train a large number of participants at a fraction of the cost it would require to train even a few customers in the United States.

The USW Santiago Office plans to repeat this training activity in four other South American countries over the next two years. Learn more about how USW works with buyers here.



Many years of work conducting trade service and technical support in South Asian countries like Myanmar (Burma) showed U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) there was a growing opportunity to compete with nearby Australian wheat supplies. Knowing two deep-water ports were opening in Myanmar in 2019, USW intensified its activities. In mid-May 2019, USDA Foreign Agricultural Service representatives were on hand to welcome the first bulk grain vessel to dock at one of the ports loaded with 22,000 metric tons (MT) of high-quality U.S. hard red spring (HRS) wheat purchased by a local flour mill.

With funding from the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) program, USW has provided technical and trade servicing to mills and bakeries in Myanmar for more than 20 years.  With the ability only to take container loads, U.S. wheat had to compete with less expensive supplies shipped mainly from nearly Australia. Still, its political situation was changing and consumer purchasing power was growing.

To lay the groundwork for U.S. wheat bulk shipments to customers in Myanmar, USW hosted a workshop on FGIS inspection and certification in marketing year 2017/18 for three milling companies and government officials. USW separately brought in a private trading company and the FAS staff in Yangon to brief the Myanmar Plant Protection Department about the bulk U.S. wheat export supply system. The briefing provided information that helped increase the confidence in purchasing and handling U.S. bulk wheat shipments.

The vessel New Journey carrying 22,000 metric tons of U.S. HRS at berth in Thilawa port at Yangon, Myanmar, May 2019.

Technical training continued with seven individuals from Myanmar baking companies who participated at their companies’ expense in three USW-sponsored baking courses at the UFM Baking School in Bangkok, Thailand, between May and July 2018. In a survey about their participation, these customers said they planned to demand flour produced from U.S. HRS wheat in their processing plants. And in December 2018, USW Bakery Consultant Roy Chung made a technical service call on a milling and wheat food processor in Myanmar to provide additional information on the potential value in milling U.S. HRS for bread flour and blending for other products.

In 2019/20, USW will apply funding from the FMD program to bring purchasing managers from selected Myanmar flour mills to the United States for a course called “Contracting for Value.” Participation will help the milling executives quantify the economic value of U.S. wheat classes and will help them understand possible adjustments in contract specifications to enhance that value.

Myanmar-based customers are embracing the benefits of working with imported U.S. wheat. Exports of HRS and soft white (SW) wheat to Myanmar grew from 26,300 MT in 2017/18 to about 65,000 MT in 2018/19. USW will continue to provide valuable trade and technical support there and throughout the growing wheat markets in South Asia.

*Header Photo Caption: Myanmar International Terminal Thilawa (MITT)


As U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) President Vince Peterson often says, at any given hour of the day there is someone, somewhere, talking about the quality, reliability and value of U.S. wheat. Wheat Letter wants to share some of the ways USW was working in June to promote all six classes of U.S. wheat in an ever more complex world wheat market.

Mexico. The USW Mexico City Office hosted the Mexico Wheat Trade Conference in Cancun, Mexico. Mexican millers, representing more than 85% of total Mexican milling capacity, attended the conference, as well as Mexican government officials, U.S. farmers from 13 states, U.S. grain trade representatives, and representatives from the four railroads serving the Mexican market including BNSF, Ferromex, Kansas City Southern-Mexico and Union Pacific. The program included messages from USW Chairman Chris Kolstad and USW President Vince Peterson, thanking the Mexican milling industry for their business and many years of close friendship, as well as presentations and discussions on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), price risk management, rail transportation, ocean freight, contracting for wheat value and more. Read the full article about the conference here.

Jamaica. USW Technical Specialist Marcelo Mitre and Assistant Regional Director Stephanie Bryant-Erdmann accompanied Bakery Consultant Kirk O´Donnell to Jamaica to conduct two, 2-day seminars in partnership with a local mill. The seminars—attended by a combined 57 participants from four countries representing the baking, milling and distribution sectors—focused on the quality and versatility of U.S. wheat, baking technology, ingredient functionality, traditional fermentation methods, puff pastries and shelf life.

USW Bakery Consultant Kirk O´Donnell at a seminar in Jamaica. Photo Credit: JF Mills

A participant a the baking seminar in Jamaica. Photo Credit: JF Mills

Brazil. Accompanied by USW Marketing Manager, Casey Chumrau, and Technical Specialist, Andres Saturno, a delegation of Brazilian flour milling managers who are responsible for quality control in their wheat purchases, traveled to Kansas, Ohio and Texas. During its travels, the delegation met with the Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS), milling companies, analysis laboratories, wheat breeding facilities and visited wheat farms.

The 2019 USW Brazilian Trade Delegation visits Texas A&M University. Photo Credit: Texas Wheat

The Philippines. The USW Manila and Seoul offices hosted a Korean Bakery Workshop in Seoul, South Korea, for Philippine bakers and millers to learn about Korean products, formulations and production methods to help the industry take advantage of growing opportunities and improving processes in the Philippines. The workshop took place at the Korean Baking School (KBS) under the direction of a Grand Master Baker and was facilitated by KBS program staff, along with USW Food Technologist, David Oh, and Country Director, CY Kang.

USW Korean Bakery Workshop in Seoul, South Korea.

Taiwan. USW collaborated with Chia Nan University (CNU) of Pharmacy and Science to host a full-day 2019 CNU Symposium on Chinese-style Steamed Breads for baking and catering professionals, souvenir development companies and culinary faculty and students. The symposium including hands-on training on how to make fermented steam bread and buns, as well as presentations on quality control of steamed bread, an introduction to wheat flours used for steamed breads and wheat flour inspection and milling.

2019 CNU Symposium on Chinese-style Steamed Breads

China. Together, USW and the Wheat Marketing Center (WMC) hosted a Contracting for Wheat Value Workshop (CFWC) for Chinese buyers and technical officials. This workshop highlighted the strengths of U.S. wheat production and its reliability and high quality. Participants also had the opportunity to travel to visit Padget Ranches in Oregon’s Sherman County. Darren Padget is a wheat farmer and current USW Vice Chairman and invited the workshop participants for a farm tour and dinner barbeque with several local farmers and neighbors.

Contracting for Wheat Value Workshop participants visit Darren Padget’s farm in Oregon’s Sherman County.

*Header Photo Caption: Contracting for Wheat Value Workshop participants visit with a farmer in Oregon’s Sherman County.

Italy. USW Regional Marketing Director Rutger Koekoek spoke at the Romacereali Conference on the outlook for durum wheat for North America and North Africa. The conference is a popular event for the Italian cereal sector organized by the Rome Chamber of Commerce. Its 200 participants primarily work in the Italian durum milling, durum trading and pasta processing industries.

Sub-Saharan Africa. Accompanied by USW Assistant Regional Director, Chad Weigand, and Marketing Specialist, Olatunde Omotayo, a delegation of milling and procurement staff representing companies from Nigeria, South Africa, Senegal, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire spent 10 days traveling to Washington D.C., North Dakota and Kansas to learning more about the excellent quality of hard red winter (HRW), hard red spring (HRS) and durum supplies available, as well as the promise of more exportable supply of hard white (HW) and the logistical advantages of purchasing from the United States

The 2019 USW Sub-Saharan Delegation at the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center. Photo credit: Kansas Wheat

Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya. USW Vice President of Global Technical Services, Mark Fowler, and IGP Institute Associate Director, Shawn Thiele, conducted on-site milling consultations and hands-on technical training in four flour mills in Nigeria and three flour mills in South Africa. During their visits, Fowler and Thiele gave recommendations for improving milling operations and flour quality for HRW, HW and soft red winter (SRW) flour. They also spoke at the African Milling School (AMS) in Kenya about U.S. wheat classes and milling for U.S. wheat for the AMS Apprenticeship Program


Mark Fowler (L) and Shawn Thiele (R) inspect flour at a mill in Nigeria.

USW and IGP staff at a mill for training in Nigeria.