A team of senior executives from the Philippines flour milling industry will be in North Dakota this weekend to assess the quality of the 2011 hard red spring wheat (HRS) crop. Prior to their stop in North Dakota, the group will also visit Washington, D.C. and Portland, OR.
On the front end of their visit, the group will visit Washington, D.C. where they will meet with government policy makers and international trade organizations to discuss trade policy issues that are affecting their businesses. In recent years, imported flour has been entering the Philippines market at below fair market prices due to efforts by some countries to bolster domestic production and their domestic milling industry.
“The U.S. wheat industry has worked with Philippine flour millers for the past 50 years to help improve flour and end-product quality,” said USW Assistant Regional Director for South Asia Joe Sowers, who will accompany the team to the U.S. “In marketing year 2010-11, more than 90 percent of their milling wheat imports came from the U.S., so the displacement of locally produced flour represents a direct loss for U.S. wheat producers.” Many millers prefer U.S. wheat because it gives them a competitive advantage over using wheat of a lower quality.
The Philippines is typically a top five export market for U.S. wheat exports and is the second largest importer of both HRS and soft white wheat. “On average, the Philippines imports over 30 million bushels of HRS and they are a consistent, steady market for North Dakota wheat,” says Erica Olson, Marketing Specialist for the NDWC. “This year our message to them will be that we have a higher than average protein crop, but supplies will be lower. So far quality of this year’s crop looks fairly good, but there have been challenges in some growing areas.”
The team will receive updates on quality research and variety development efforts from researchers at North Dakota State University and a supply and demand outlook from the NDWC. The Philippines is also the second largest buyer of soft white wheat and will receive an update on the 2011 crop while in Portland.
In North Dakota, the NDWC and researchers will focus on supplying the group with the most up to date information on the 2011 crop and reinforcing our commitment to supplying high quality wheat so they can make informed purchasing decisions for their wheat needs.
U.S. Wheat Associates works in more than 100 countries to maintain and improve export market opportunities for North Dakota wheat farmers and producers in 18 other states with support from the farmers themselves through a per bushel checkoff.
Source: North Dakota Wheat Commission