Wheat Sales to Top Three Buyers Up 45%

Quality deficiencies in other durum countries helped the U.S. to capitalize in smaller export markets, some of whom have been absent for a few years.

Japan was the leading export destination for hard red spring wheat in the 2005-2006 marketing year.

The Philippines was next in line with purchases of 36 million bushels.

Rounding out the list are Venezuela - 23 million bushels, Taiwan - 20, Italy - 27, Spain - 15, Korea - 14, Mexico - 12, Thailand - 9, and Dominican Republic - 7.Record or near record sales were made to Japan, Venezuela and Mexico. Combined sales of 93 million bushels to these three markets were up 45% over the recent five-year average. The Philippines, Spain, Thailand and the Dominican Republic showed a combined 34% increase over the five year average but were steady with previous year sales. Taiwan, Italy and Korea were equal to or lightly lower than the five-year average.

"Sharp gains in the Japanese market can be attributed to U.S. Wheat Associates marketing efforts to get a more reasonable spread between the government purchase price and subsequent resale price on U.S. wheat to mills in that country," says Jim Peterson, ND Wheat Marketing Commission marketing specialist.

USW's ongoing efforts in Mexico and Venezuela to educate buyers on how to procure the best value from U.S. wheat through improved contract specifications, is also showing dividends.

Sales to all of Latin America, at 70 million bushels, are the highest since 1996, he says.

Durum exports

Top buyers of U.S. durum were: Italy - 11 million bushels, Algeria - 10, Morocco - 4.0, Venezuela - 2.0, Tunisia - 1.8, Nigeria - 1.7, Spain - 1.0, Costa Rica - 1.0, Portugal - 0.47, and Dominican Republic - 0.46.

"Quality deficiencies in other durum countries helped the U.S. to capitalize in smaller export markets, some of whom have been absent for a few years," Peterson says.

"Stronger sales to Morroco have also been boosted by the new U.S./Moroccan Free Trade Agreement which gives U.S. durum a tariff advantage over Canadian durum."

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