As proof that American wheat farmers continue to produce the world's most consistent supply of high-quality wheat, wheat exports are expected to increase about 45% more this marketing year compared to last year in all wheat classes, says Alan Tracy, president of the U.S. Wheat Associates (USW).
"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, the U.S. is the world's most reliable supplier of wheat.
USW says that for decades the U.S. has been the largest wheat exporter in the world, despite the fact that we are seldom the cheapest supplier. 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 to recent 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 U.S. as their supplier of first resort, and many of them wisely do,” Tracy says. “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 U.S. every year.
“Taiwan, Philippines, Mexico and Nigeria are all large customers that consistently buy three-quarters or more of their wheat imports from the U.S. 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 U.S."
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 U.S. have a unique opportunity to build on our existing reputation and customer base, USW says.
"Our future continues to lie as a the world's premier source for quality, variety and reliability wheat," Tracy says.