The U.S. Wheat Supply: Unmatched Reliability and Transparency
The world’s wheat buyers have heard the claim that U.S. wheat farmers produce “the world’s most reliable choice.” U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the U.S. wheat farmers we represent believe that claim is legitimate because so many customers rely on several classes of U.S. wheat to meet their specific end-use and quality needs and because buying it carries less risk.
Here are some of the reasons why our overseas customers know they can depend on the integrity of our supply chain, the quality of U.S. wheat and our unmatched reliability as a supplier.
First, the U.S. wheat “store” is always open. U.S. farmers overcome significant risk every year to meet domestic wheat demand and still provide half their crop for export markets. Farmers and commercial warehouses can store and efficiently transport wheat in top condition to meet overseas demand when needed and throughout the marketing year.
Prices are transparent and honored. U.S. wheat export prices are discovered openly through futures exchanges and basis costs and are always available to customers. Private exporters use risk management tools to honor sales contract prices often made months in advance of vessel loading.
Quality is assured. USW publishes weekly reports during harvest that summarize initial wheat quality findings. USW works with several organizations and laboratories to analyze hundreds of harvest and export wheat samples for all six U.S. wheat classes and publishes all results in the annual Crop Quality Report. Our staff, farmers and industry experts then travel the world to present the results to our customers and end users. Those customers know U.S. wheat will meet their specifications because the supply chain follows uniform grain segregation and inspection procedures. The Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) independently inspects wheat at vessel loading to certify that the quality loaded matches the quality stated in the customer’s contract. Those inspections yield valuable data down to the sub-lot level of 1,000 to 2,000 metric tons that customers can use, with assistance from USW, to get the most value from their tenders.
Direct government export intervention is banned. Several U.S. federal laws protect the sanctity of all export contracts. The only exception is a declared national emergency. Export tariffs are forbidden in the U.S. Constitution, fully adhering to World Trade Organization disciplines, and the United States will not use food as a weapon.
Buyers receive unmatched trade servicing and technical support. With funding from U.S. wheat farm families and USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, experienced USW staff and consultants add exceptional value to all U.S. wheat class imports.
Fostering trade. USW invests substantial funding from farmers and federal programs to help overcome trade or technical barriers that would otherwise keep end-users from realizing the highest value and most revenue from using U.S. wheat.
The U.S. wheat industry is proud of its position as the world’s most reliable choice. All of us who participate in the industry believe that it contributes to world food security and economic stability, and work to maintain a transparent and open market to sustain that valued reputation.