U.S. wheat growers will receive a special present in their stockings this Christmas. The Vietnamese government announced Nov. 16 that it will eliminate its 3% tariff on U.S. wheat imports, effective Dec. 30.
According to U.S. Wheat Associates and the National Association of Wheat Growers, this follows a reduction from 5% to 3% in July 2020.
Vietnam imported more than 500,000 metric tons of U.S. hard red spring, soft white, hard red winter and soft red winter wheat in marketing year 2020-21, a value of $129 million. That’s second in volume only to Australia. Vietnam, according to USW and NAWG, imports an average of 4 million metric tons of wheat each year.
The majority of U.S. wheat destined for Vietnam is shipped out of the Pacific Northwest, says Kansas Wheat CEO Justin Gilpin. Still, according to USW, since March 2020, 13 container loads of hard red wheat were loaded at the Texas Gulf, bound for Vietnam. That total volume is just under 5,000 metric tons, or almost 183,000 bushels.
“This year, more of that HRW going to Vietnam came from Colorado, northwest Kansas, western Nebraska, where it was shipped off from the PNW,” Gilpin says.
Overall, it’s a success story for wheat growers around the U.S. because it creates a demand for wheat from other states to fill other contracts around the globe.
Dave Milligan, NAWG president, is a wheat grower from Cass City, Mich. He says growers around the country depend on export markets to buy half of all wheat grown each year, and this news from Vietnam is welcomed.
Darren Padget, USW chairman and a soft white wheat grower in Grass Valley, Ore., echoed his thoughts. “U.S. wheat exports to Vietnam’s growing market are much slower so far this year because of short supplies and rising prices, so eliminating this tariff is very important for growers like me,” he says.
“It’s good to see a win in trade policy,” Gilpin says.
The Biden administration, USDA Foreign Agricultural Service and Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance have been negotiating this since the summer, according to USW and NAWG.
U.S. Wheat Associates and National Association of Wheat Growers contributed to this article.