U.S. agriculture is watching the situation in Japan very closely in the wake of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that devastated areas of the country late last week.
U.S. Grains Council Senior Director of International Operations Mike Callahan reports staff at the Council's Tokyo office have checked in, are safe and have been able to return to the office.
"Obviously our staff can't get into the area that was impacted by the earthquake and tsunami," Callahan said. "So they pretty much have to rely upon information that's conveyed to them from our contacts in the feed industry and the grain trade."
Callahan says they've been in regular contact with those industry representatives, but the impact on grain trade is not fully known at this time.
"We don't yet have any detailed assessment that's been made public to the Council so it's still a matter of waiting," Callahan said. "Most of the focus right now in that country is certainly just on search and rescue operations and getting food and water and medical treatment out to the people."
While the Grains Council cannot accurately measure the damage at this time, Callahan says they have not heard of any cancellations in shipments. In fact, industry sources say buyers have asked to channel vessels or delivery to other ports or feed mills unharmed by the natural disaster. Feed mills are collaborating and coordinating feed production to cover all critical animal sectors.
"They are very well organized and are very well prepared to deal with earthquakes," Callahan said. "They are a very resolute society and we have a lot of faith and confidence that they will be back on the road to recovery.