U.S. wheat exports are expected to increase about 45% this marketing year compared to last year, says Alan Tracy, president of the U.S. Wheat Associates.
"It is true that much of our big export increase this year is due to export embargoes, extreme weather and poor crop conditions in several places around the world," Tracy says. “But the fact remains that year in and year out, this nation is the world's most reliable supplier of wheat.”
The U.S. Wheat Associates is a market development and assistance agency, which receives funding from American wheat farmers and cost-share funding from the USDA.
For decades the United States has been the largest wheat exporter in the world, despite the fact that American wheat is seldom the cheapest available. This year the biggest demand has been for some wheat at the higher end of the price spectrum: hard red spring and hard red winter.
Tracy says the six wheat classes grown in the U.S. can fill virtually any specific milling and end product quality need; the nation's export system provides quality assurance, guaranteed delivery and price transparency; and, notable in contrast torecent export restrictions from other suppliers, the U. S. is consistently the most reliable supplier in the world.
"These are all excellent reasons for the world's wheat buyers to come to the United States as their supplier of first resort. Japan has some of the most stringent contract specifications of any wheat buyer in the world, and it buys nearly two thirds of its import needs from the United States every year. Taiwan, Philippines, Mexico and Nigeria are all large customers that consistently buy three quarters or more of their wheat imports from the United States. Even in years when wheat is abundant and other sellers discount their wheat, buyers from as many as 75 countries choose to buy from the United States," Tracy says.
In coming years, world wheat trade is expected to grow substantially, he adds.
Even in the face of high prices for other crops, U.S. farmers will soon finish planting 8% more wheat acres for the coming marketing year than last. As the increasingly sophisticated wheat buyers of the world compete to supply their varied end product customers consistently with the specific qualities of flour that they need, the farmers and wheat export industry of the United States have a unique opportunity to build on our existing reputation and customer base.
"Our future continues to lie as the world's premier source for quality, variety and reliability wheat," Tracy says.