When U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) launched its new website in July, we introduced a new section that includes expanded information about its 16 office locations and the countries they serve.

A world map highlighting each of USW’s offices is available under “Office Locations,” and allows viewers to select the office or region of the world about which they would like to know more.

On these individual pages viewers will find:

  • Basic wheat market statistics for the countries that each USW office serves.
  • Highlights of recent wheat industry activities related to the region.
  • A contact form for each USW office.
  • Wheat industry news related to the region.

“We are excited to offer this section of the website as a new resource for our customers and stakeholders,” said Mark Fowler, USW Vice President of Overseas Operations. “As the global wheat market changes, U.S. Wheat Associates will continue providing helpful resources for its audience that reflect the high quality and reliable performance of U.S. wheat.

For more information about USW and its mission click here.


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 and July to promote all six classes of U.S. wheat in an ever more complex world grain market.

Sub-Saharan Africa. Flour milling executives from Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Liberia traveled to Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas in June to get the latest information about hard red winter (HRW) wheat quality and value. The delegation experienced each part of the supply chain by visiting the Port of Corpus Christi and local grain elevators, participating in wheat harvest, meeting with USDA officials and discussing wheat quality at the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center. Also in June, another delegation from Nigeria and South Africa attended a two-week milling short course at the IGP Institute in Manhattan, Kan. Read more about these activities here and here.

South Asia. In June, the USW Singapore and Manila Offices led a week of Procurement and Mill Profitability Workshops in Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. Funded by the Washington Grain Commission (WGC), the activities included three full-day workshops focused on commodity price analysis to guide purchasing strategies and increase mill profitability.

Philippines. A delegation of four leaders from the Philippine flour milling industry traveled to Oregon, Washington D.C. and Washington state in June to meet with state wheat commissions, producers and grain traders, and visit a port loading facility and an FGIS dockside laboratory. In the U.S. capital, the team discussed various trade policy topics, including issues related to Turkish flour imports. Read more about this delegation here.

Ecuador and Chile. In June, a delegation of four millers from Ecuador and Chile traveled to Nebraska, North Dakota and Oregon to gain a better understanding of the wheat marketing and the supply chain. The delegation’s travel included visits to HRW and soft white (SW) producing area, an export elevator, FGIS laboratory and meetings with wheat producers and grain exporters.

Haiti. USW staff traveled to Haiti in June to meet with Haitian millers, wheat importers, the U.S. Embassy and the Haitian Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MCI) to discuss and review the status of possible dumping of Turkish wheat flour exports to Haiti and how it negatively affects the local wheat milling industry. Industry sources estimate Haitian Turkish flour imports have reached nearly 40,000 tons annually, and are entering the country at an understated price on the invoice value presented to Haitian customs. Read more about this activity here.

Taiwan. USW collaborated with the Lien Hwa Flour Mill and Chia Nan University in June to host a noodle making contest using flour from U.S. wheat classes. The contest was divided into two groups for machine-made noodle and hand-made noodles. After making their noodles, participants had to include them in a creative dish for the judges. 64 participants entered the contest.

Korea. In June, USW sponsored a Baking Product Development Course for Korean millers at the Wheat Marketing Center (WMC), Portland, Ore., that focused on U.S. wheat flour blending research.

Japan. A delegation of Japanese mid-level mill managers traveled to Oregon, Washington and North Dakota in July to learn more about this year’s crop and better understand the U.S. wheat supply chain.

Honduras. USW conducted baking seminars and in plant consultations with leading Honduran bakeries in July which focused on using new technological advancements. USW Baking Consultant Didier Rosada was interviewed on a live television program for 40 minutes that was disseminated through Facebook to consumers across the country.


Almost 100 people from 16 countries participated in the 2018 edition of the biennial U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Latin American & Caribbean Buyers Conference July 18 to 20 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  Apprehension about a growing number of trade policy issues as the conference started was quickly replaced by enthusiasm for the abundance of opportunities available from the 2018 U.S. wheat harvest and USW’s tradition of service.


Change was the overall theme of this year’s conference and was apparent from the start with the introduction of the newest USW South American Region colleagues: Miguel Galdos as the next Regional Director and Andres Saturno in a new regional position as Technical Specialist. Regional Vice President Alvaro de la Fuente has announced plans to retire in October and USW recognized his 41 years of service at the conference.


USW President Vince Peterson added perspective to the theme with a presentation illustrating the changing dynamics of the global wheat trade and increased competitiveness from Russia and other non-traditional importers into the region. Mark Fowler, Vice President of Overseas Operations, then highlighted how expansion of technical service will increase value for our U.S. wheat customers in the Mexican, Central American and Caribbean region and in the South American region.


“The service we provide combines with the variety and quality of the six classes of U.S. wheat available to remain the best choice for our customers in Latin America,” said Fowler.  “As the market becomes more competitive and our customers strive to differentiate their products to their customers, our ability to provide the technical service and product development assistance becomes even more vital for them and the farmers we represent.”

USW Vice President of Overseas Operations Mark Fowler.


Galdos provided an overview of the Latin American and Caribbean baking industry while Marcelo Mitre, Technical Specialist, USW/ Mexico City, and Casey Chumrau, Marketing Manager, USW/Santiago, shared several examples of how technical support has benefitted USW buyers and wheat food processors. U.S. participants also provided a wide-ranging look at the supplies and quality of U.S. hard red winter (HRW), soft red winter (SRW), hard red spring (HRS), soft white (SW) and durum during the conference.


Ambassador Rubens Barbosa (second from right), President of Abitrigo, the Brazilian Millers Association, was a guest speaker at the Latin American and Caribbean Buyers Conference.

Additional guest speakers included: Alejandro Daly, Executive President of ALIM, the Latin American Millers Association covering how labeling laws affect consumption; Ambassador Rubens Barbosa, President of Abitrigo, the Brazilian Millers Association, focusing on Brazil’s wheat production and national policies; Irineu J. Pedrollo, Owner of I&MP Consulting Associates, presenting on the experiences of a U.S. wheat buyer; Dr. Glenn Gaesser, Arizona State University, presenting on the nutritional challenges of a gluten-free diet; and Mara Isabel Perdomo, Broker Manager Director with Marita Freight and Trade, speaking on freight market dynamics.


In addition to the wheat buyers from milling companies at the conference, U.S. wheat producers from seven states either attended or provided financial support for the conference. USW thanks the Idaho Wheat Commission, the Oregon Wheat Commission and the Washington Grain Commission for their sponsorship and participants from the California Wheat Commission, Kansas Wheat Commission, Montana Wheat & Barley Committee, North Dakota Wheat Commission and Oklahoma Wheat Commission for their support to make the conference a continued success. Additional funding was provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.


“It’s significant that the conference was held in Brazil this year because Brazil is one the world’s leading wheat importers,” said Kansas Wheat CEO Justin Gilpin in a report on the conference by Kansas Wheat.


Dr. Romulo Lollato, Extension Wheat Specialist at Kansas State University, spoke on “The Role of Agricultural Extension on Wheat Quality: A Case Study for Hard Red Winter.”


According to Gilpin, Lollato was able to communicate to buyers about what Kansas wheat farmers are putting into their crops for both management and quality.


“Buyers have a better understanding of what goes into wheat production and management for quality,” Gilpin said. “This will help differentiate U.S. hard red winter in a competitive marketplace.”


Kansas Wheat Vice President of Research and Operations Aaron Harries saw the conference as an opportunity for customers to meet U.S. growers and discuss wheat productio

USW Chairman and wheat grower Chris Kolstad.

n and the business of farming, and for growers to show their appreciation to buyers and millers who buy their crops. In fact, USW Chairman Chris Kolstad, a wheat farmer from Ledger, Mont., covered “The Economics of Growing Wheat” at the conference.

“I hope that the buyers and attendees appreciate the transparency we show,” Harries said. “We fully disclose information about the crop, even in years when our wheat crop isn’t that good. I hope they come away from the conference knowing that if they seek any information or expertise, as sellers we have that readily available for them.”


USW has posted presentations from the 2018 Latin American, Caribbean and South American Buyers Conference on its website here:




The U.S. Congress is at the beginning of a long process to gain enactment of a new Farm Bill due by the end of the current fiscal year on Sept. 30, 2018. As a member of the Agribusiness Coalition for Foreign Market Development and the Coalition to Promote U.S. Agricultural Exports, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) provides information to the coalitions and to the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) needed to present priorities to U.S. legislators.

Last week, two events happened that potentially affect the work USW does to help its overseas customers gain value from purchasing U.S. milling wheat.

First was a letter sent from Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington State and 43 co-signing members of Congress voicing strong support for USDA’s Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development Program (FMD) as the process of writing a new farm bill begins in earnest.

The bipartisan request to House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway of Texas and Ranking Member Collin Peterson of Minnesota urged reauthorization of both programs and incorporation of elements from H.R. 2321, the Cultivating Revitalization by Expanding American Agriculture Trade and Exports Act (CREAATE Act), which would phase in increases in annual funding for both programs.

The letter referenced the dramatically increased competition U.S. agricultural exports now face, supported by increasingly rich government-sponsored marketing from some of the top U.S. agricultural competitors.

The letter also explained that MAP and FMD dollars are matched by private-sector contributions from state and national checkoffs and small agriculture businesses. In 2014, those contributions made up 70 percent of all money invested by organizations participating in the programs and operating marketing efforts overseas. In today’s complex trade environment, promoting U.S. wheat and other agricultural products has never been more important. This is most successfully accomplished with robust global presence, which is supported through MAP and FMD.

Also last week, the first House version of the 2018 Farm Bill proposes a slightly different structure for export market development programs. It consolidates the programs into the “International Market Development Program” that includes Foreign Market Development, Market Access Program, Emerging Markets Program and Trade Assistance for Specialty Crops components. This consolidated program would maintain a budget baseline for the FMD component and provides continued funding for FMD and the MAP component at their current annual levels. The U.S. House Agriculture Committee passed this version of the Farm Bill, which will be debated by the full House.

More about the MAP and FMD component programs and the public-private partnership they represent is at


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 January and February to promote all six classes of U.S. wheat in an ever more complex world grain market.

Hong Kong. In February, the management of Hong Kong’s restaurant, hotel, resort and supermarket retailing scenes turned out in force to welcome the new USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Agricultural Trade Officer, Alicia Hernandez. Hernandez will lead the trade promotion office that covers the agricultural import markets of Hong Kong and Macau. The Consul General hosted a reception at his residence, which featured a U.S. Food and Beverage Showcase event. Long-time baking consultant Heinz Fischer, who created pastries for the event, USW Assistant Regional Vice President Jeff Coey represented U.S. wheat farmers. In addition to undertaking baking demonstrations, Fischer is a mainstay of the USW sponsored Sino-American Baking School in Guangzhou, with a branch-training center in Hebei province, North China.

Panama. In February, USW Technical Specialist Marcelo Mitre attended the 41st Annual International Association of Operative Millers (IAOM) Latin American Regional Millers’ Conference and Expo in Panama City, Panama. Mitre met with representatives of several mills in the Mexico-Central American-Caribbean region. Technical presentations covered a variety of industry topics, as well as a panel discussion on “challenges of the milling industry in the next decade.”

South Korea. In February, USW Country Director Chang Yoon (CY) Kang and Food/Bakery Technologist Shin Hak (David) Oh carried out trade and technical service for two snack food manufacturers in Korea, including one that has applied research done at the Wheat Marketing Center (WMC) Whole Wheat Cookie /Cracker course in 2016. USW staff provided an updated world supply and demand report and forecast for 2018, and encouraged manufacturers to test new U.S. wheat blend formulations to enhance their biscuit and whole grain product quality.

The Philippines. In February, USW Manila Baking Consultant Gerry Mendoza presented as a guest lecturer for a Filipino milling company’s baking course. His presentations on yeast performance and cake science reach 20 participants from both small bakeries and large industrial bakeries. Mendoza also conducted a one-day seminar workshop for 22 participants at the Filipino Chinese Bakery Association Research and Training Center as one of the many regular seminars offered by the Philippine Society of Baking.

South Asia. In January, USW Vice President for Overseas Operations Mark Fowler traveled to USW’s offices in Singapore, Manila and Hong Kong to meet with several customers and members of the grain trade, as well as to conduct supervisory discussions on activities in the region.


By Amanda J. Spoo, USW Assistant Director of Communications

Each year, after thousands of wheat crop samples are analyzed and the results are published in the USW Crop Quality Report, USW invites its overseas customers, including buyers, millers and processors, to 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 2017, USW hosted 33 seminars in 25 countries, and many reported seeing record participation. Customers share that they use the report throughout the year as a reference manual and to guide them through purchases and future planning. The seminars provide a first look at the overall crop and a deep dive into the data and how to use it.

“The crop quality booklet is very useful for us as millers for reference and information on wheat quality available for production,” said one participant from Indonesia.

“If we encounter quality issues in our products, we use the wheat quality data to help us make necessary adjustments,” said participants from the Philippines.

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.


As 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 September and October to promote all six classes of U.S. wheat in an ever more complex world grain market.

Asia. USW scheduled several meetings and wheat grading and flour milling seminars for Rob Bundy, Quality Assurance Specialist with the Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS), during a temporary duty (TDY) assignment to Southeast Asia in September. Throughout his trip, Bundy made stops with USW staff in China, Singapore, Myanmar, the Philippines, Taiwan and Japan. He discussed U.S. wheat grading procedures and documentation with hands-on grading exercises, wheat classes and characteristics as well as the FGIS review and appeals processes.

China. USW worked with a flour mill to help sponsor the Savor USA Home Baking Competition held in China via the online platform, WeChat, where contestants could submit recipes and food photographs. USDA’s Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) in Shanghai created the competition to bring together U.S. ingredient providers and Chinese customers, and capitalize on increasing interest in home baking. USW chef consultant Heinz Fischer demonstrated U.S. wheat flour performance with a live baking demonstration at the competition’s award ceremony.

United Arab Emirates (UAE). In October, USW participated in the 28th Annual International Association of Operative Millers (IAOM) Middle East and North Africa (MEA) Conference and Expo 2017, in Dubai, UAE. As a founding organization of the IAOM MEA, USW has maintained an active role in the annual event. Vice President of Overseas Operations Mark Fowler and Regional Vice President Ian Flagg are currently members of the IAOM MEA Leadership Council.

Philippines. Also in October, USW staff conducted two baking workshops entitled “The Korean Way of Bread Making,” to help Philippine bakers diversify product offerings and production techniques. The workshops focused on Korean baking processes and formulations, including several Korean pan bread and baguette styles.

Mexico. Colleagues from USW Mexico City conducted a Transportation and Logistics Workshop in Mexico, Sept. 11 to 13 for wheat buyers and executives from U.S. and Mexican railroads. Forty-five participants, attended the workshop to learn more about vital information and technology used to facilitate U.S. wheat shipments to Mexico via rail.

Belgium. USW participated in the 57th European Commodities Exchange, Oct. 12 to 13, in Brussels, Belgium, which attracted 3,000 professionals involved in grain trade and processing from 56 countries. Visitors to the USW booth received updates on U.S. wheat quality data and marketing and were invited to USW’s upcoming Crop Quality Seminars.

Costa Rica. USW conducted an on-site Contracting for Wheat Value Seminar with a leading Costa Rican flour miller in September. USW Consultants Dr. Bill Wilson from North Dakota State University and Shawn Thiele from the IGP Institute helped lead the seminar with a focus on how to increase U.S. wheat value by making appropriate adjustments to purchasing specifications and production methods. Staff from the mill’s purchasing, quality control and production departments learned how to maximize the value gained from quality attributes such as lower moisture content and maximizing flour extraction rates through proper tempering times.

Colombia. The Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje (SENA) is Colombia’s largest technical institute that prepares students for technical service jobs, including bakers. USW Consultant Didier Rosada conducted a five-day seminar for SENA instructors from the bread baking department, with the goal of providing improved baking methods to incorporate into the regular SENA curriculum. The seminar also provided a chance to discuss the characteristics and end uses of U.S. wheat classes.

Chile and Bolivia. USW Consultant Jay O’Neil traveled to La Paz, Bolivia, and Santiago, Chile, to conduct purchasing seminars for wheat buyers. He focused on the U.S. wheat production and marketing systems, U.S. grain standards, purchasing contracts and negotiations, futures markets and ocean freight. USW covered wheat classes and their use, and in Bolivia, a local grain trader led a discussion on the current Bolivian market.

Ecuador. USW and milling consultant Andrea Saturno, traveled to Quito, Ecuador, to conduct two technical milling seminars, Oct. 17 to 20. The first seminar for a private mill focused on the control elements critical to maintaining efficiency and quality. The second seminar for ASEMOL, the Ecuadorian Milling Association, included an introduction to wheat cleaning, tempering, quality control, mill performance, new developments in milling science and the best application of U.S. wheat classes for different end products. An FGIS official joined the seminar to discuss the U.S. grain grading system and different buying strategies, and led a hands-on activity to identify grain damage.

South Korea. Wheat import managers and wheat flour quality control managers from flour mills in Korea participated in a Contracting for Value Workshop at the Wheat Marketing Center (WMC), Aug. 19 to 26, in Portland, Ore. During the workshop, the participants also visited the EGT export facility in Longview, Wash., met with several grain traders and toured an Oregon wheat farm. In the WMC lab, participants saw several functional test demonstrations and participated in WMC product evaluations on a variety of end products.

Indonesia. In August and September, USW’s milling and baking specialists provided in-plant consultations for four of Indonesian flour milling companies on the island of Java, and sanother milling company in Medan on the island of Sumatra. The consultations focused on contracting for U.S. wheat value, best practices to improve end product quality, baking tests, troubleshooting technical issues and concerns, assessing potential opportunities and increasing the use of solvent retention capacity (SRC) tests to analyze flour streams.


Recently, Vietnam’s government advised the USDA that it would lift restrictions on imported U.S. food grains and feed grains. This change helped open an opportunity for Vietnamese flour millers who recently bought a large volume of U.S. soft white (SW) wheat, the first substantial sale of U.S. wheat to the Vietnam market in several months.

On Dec. 1, 2016, Vietnam implemented a requirement that all shipments of U.S. wheat, corn and distillers dried grain solids (DDGS) be fumigated with a product that U.S. export elevators are generally unable to use in bulk shipments. Vietnam now allows treatment with a generally accepted fumigation product throughout the global grain trade, to enter the country. An official phytosanitary certification from the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will also be required.

USW continued to provide trade service to Vietnamese flour millers after this restriction was implemented. For example, Vietnamese flour milling executives recently joined a team of millers visiting the United States to learn more about U.S. wheat quality and the supply chain.

“Several of our staff worked with the grain trade, U.S. government agencies and our customers to develop workable solutions to this restriction,” said USW Vice President of Overseas Mark Fowler. “We appreciate their work and the cooperation of the U.S. and Vietnamese governments. We look forward to more normal trade with these customers.”


Each year, USW sponsors overseas customers to travel to the United States as members of a trade delegation or to attend a short course, with more than 100 customers participating each year.

In 2017, USW sponsored a total of 72 participants from Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe to attend seven short courses and four workshops at the Northern Crops Institute, the IGP Institute and Wheat Marketing Center, and for the first time, at the USDA Agricultural Research Laboratory in Wooster, Ohio.

The courses provided by these institutions are instrumental in providing customers with the information needed for making future purchases by covering a range of topics to educate them on the value of U.S. wheat classes and providing exposure to the U.S. grain marketing system, the flow of grain from farm to port and the U.S. inspection system, to name a few. Through targeting bakers, millers and end-product manufacturers, USW and our partners showcase the quality of products that can be made using wheat from the United States.

Trade delegations are another way for customers to learn about U.S. wheat. This year, USW hosted a total of 12 trade delegations composed of 63 customers and 14 staff. Customers from Japan, Algeria, Morocco, Taiwan, Chile, Nigeria, South Africa, Korea, Philippines, Vietnam and Singapore visited 11 states (California, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon and Washington), as well as Washington D.C., and USW’s Headquarters in Arlington, Va.

Visiting wheat-producing states allows customers to directly connect with farmers, state wheat commissions and industry partners, while learning about the U.S. wheat marketing structure and transportation logistics.

Whether it is through short courses or trade delegations, the goal is the same for USW and partners: to promote the reliability, quality and value of all six U.S. wheat classes to customers around the world. Our success relies on the success of our customers and their ability to create products that appeal to consumers in markets around the globe.


The West African nation of Angola is making good progress in its desire to improve food security for a rapidly growing population, currently estimated at 24.5 million people. The Angolan government believes that building its own food processing capacity will help reduce the cost of importing food, while creating jobs for the Angolan people and preserving foreign exchange. Angola annually imports an estimated 800,000 MT of processed wheat flour from various origins.

The country was not always dependent on flour imports. With support from state wheat commissions and USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) export market development programs, USW introduced HRW wheat to Angolan milling companies in the 1990s through the USDA PL 480 Title 1 monetization program. The Angolan milling industry processed a significant volume of HRW, and Angolan bakers very much liked the quality of the HRW flour to make popular baguettes and Portuguese-style bread. When the Title 1 program ended in 2001, donated supplies of U.S. HRW were no longer available, so the Angolan government turned to subsidizing imported flour.

Economic conditions and the government’s new focus created an opportunity to begin increasing flour milling capacity. To build on its prior experience in Angola, USW invested funds from the FAS Market Access Program (MAP) for a part-time consultant to provide timely and accurate information about U.S. HRW to Angolan flour millers, bakers, grain traders and government officials.

Early in 2016, under the FAS Quality Samples Program (QSP), USW coordinated the shipping of a HRW wheat sample to an Angolan mill, and a HRW flour sample to a bakery. Analysis of the samples all showed the HRW wheat and flour met industry standards and produced good quality products. The milling managers said they would strongly consider HRW for import, given competitive prices and expanded storage.

In a separate QSP activity, USW’s local representatives and staff from its West Coast Office in Portland, Ore., worked through the North American Millers’ Association (NAMA) to purchase and mill HRW wheat and ship the flour to an Angola food processing company to demonstrate its use in pasta production. U.S. Ambassador Helena M. La Lime and representatives from USW and NAMA celebrated the arrival of this shipment in a ceremony at the processing company in late February 2017. Amb. La Lime highlighted the great potential U.S. wheat has in supporting Angola’s milling and food industries and said the United States “supports Angola’s efforts to diversify the economy through industrialization and increased local production of consumer goods.”

In September 2017, USDA reported that an Angolan buyer had purchased 27,500 MT (almost 992,000 bushels) of HRW, the first U.S. wheat exported to the West African nation in many years.“I believe U.S. wheat farmers would be proud to know that their wheat has the potential to help improve economic conditions in Angola,” said USW Regional Vice President Ed Wiese. “Through trade service, technical support and training funded by wheat farmers and USDA, our organization tries to build lasting relationships with our valued customers around the world. And, assuming prices remain competitive in the changing world wheat trade, we hope that our support will lead to increased demand for HRW to produce great bread, pasta and other wheat food products for the Angolan people.”