Peru is one the few countries in South America that purchases almost all classes of U.S. wheat, which is one reason why three Peruvian wheat buyers are visiting the United States July 19 to 25. They are connecting with U.S. grain traders to learn more about the advantages of the U.S. wheat marketing system. The team’s visit focuses specifically on hard red winter (HRW) and soft red winter (SRW) production in Maryland, Virginia, Colorado and Kansas. U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) worked with the Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board (MGPUB), the Virginia Small Grains Board, the Colorado Wheat Commission and the Kansas Wheat Commission to organize this team.
“Our goal for this trade team is to encourage the practice of blending different wheat classes or protein levels to minimize input costs, so we can compete better with wheat from other sources,” said USW South American Regional Vice President Alvaro de la Fuente, who is traveling with the team. “On this tour, they have the opportunity to see the quality of the new U.S. wheat crop and how its versatility can meet their multiple end-use needs.”
Peru produces an average of 240,000 metric tons (MT) of wheat per year, most of which is a soft variety that is not properly suited for baking, meaning only an average of 10,000 MT of their wheat is purchased by the milling industry. In 2014, U.S. wheat represented 20.9 percent of Peru’s total wheat imports with 1.95 million metric tons (MMT) led by HRW (193,000 MT) and SRW (139,000 MT). The team members represent Peru’s major wheat importing groups, accounting for more than 40 percent of the country’s annual wheat purchases and are directly responsible for evaluating and importing wheat for their companies.
The trip began with a visit to the USW Headquarters Office in Arlington, Virginia, for a briefing with President Alan Tracy and Vice President of Overseas Operations Vince Peterson. They also visited USW Vice Chairman and MGPUB Commissioner Jason Scott at his farm in Hurlock, Maryland, and toured Perdue’s export grain terminal and Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) office in Norfolk, Virginia. The team then traveled to Colorado and Kansas for visits to Ardent Mills, a Cargill-Byers unit train loading facility, Progressive Farms, Best Harvest Bakery, CHS and the FGIS Technical Center, as well as a meeting with Louis Dreyfus. Throughout the tour the hosting state wheat commissions will provide their state’s crop quality outlook.
USW is the industry’s market development organization working in more than 100 countries. Its mission is to “develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance the profitability of U.S. wheat producers and their customers.” USW activities are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 19 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. USW maintains 17 offices strategically located around the world to help wheat buyers, millers, bakers, wheat food processors and government officials understand the quality, value and reliability of all six classes of U.S. wheat.