Monday, NCGA welcomed a high level team of Japanese officials to discuss planting intentions, weather forecasts, farm programs and potential demand-drivers including ethanol. The visit also served as a chance to reaffirm the importance farmers place on their trade relationship with Japan, which continues its historic role as the largest export market for U.S. corn.
“It is essential that we recognize that our trade relationship with Japan is built not only upon simply filling a need but also upon sharing a common goal, fostering trust and working together to build mutually beneficial opportunities,” said NCGA Vice President of Production and Utilization Paul Bertels. “We realize, as do our international trade partners, that there are a variety of markets offering grains for import. What helps set us apart as a long-term partner are meetings such as this. Working with our valued colleagues, providing clear and accurate information and collaborating on current issues of importance reinforces the bonds essential to healthy trade.”
While the discussions covered many areas, each subject arose in relation to Japanese interest in the availability of U.S. corn in 2013. The delegation, and Japanese importers and government officials more broadly, are focusing on availability in order to more accurately forecast possible price scenarios for corn and the long-term competiveness of Japanese feeders and corn millers.
The delegation included Japan External Trade Organization Director of Agriculture Daisuke Kojo, Agriculture and Livestock Industries Corp International Research Counselor Yasufumi Ueda and Consul Yoshinobu Mimura of the Consulate General of Japan at Chicago.