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Buyers Conferences Provide Opportunity to Build and Strengthen Relationships

By: Erica Olson
Posted: Sep 13 2023

U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) has hosted three buyers’ conferences in 2023 in key U.S. export regions – South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, and North Asia.  Jim Peterson, NDWC Marketing and Trade Policy Manager, was invited to present crop updates on HRS and durum at the Latin American conference in August.  The conference brought together about 150 customers with U.S. wheat producers, Commission staff, trade, marketing and logistics experts.  The theme of the conference was “Successful Strategies for Your Supply Chain”, a fitting theme given the price volatility, production challenges and logistical issues over the past few years.  

Peterson noted that these conferences provide a great opportunity to connect directly with customers and present them with the current outlook on the availability and quality of our hard red spring and durum wheat crops. “Customers appreciate the direct connection with producers and those of us representing the farm level perspective.  I think they feel they get a more genuine picture,” said Peterson.  “One take away for me, after visiting with numerous customers is that U.S. HRS wheat is still very much preferred by millers, bakers and consumers, for the quality and predictability it brings to the table.  It is just a tough environment now with the economic headwinds, and even political strife in many countries.  They are always willing to pay a premium for our wheat, but the tough economic conditions in markets, and the U.S. gap to world prices makes the sale a bit more challenging,” he added.  

The Latin American region represents about 20% of HRS export demand, and despite market condition challenges, Mexico was the second largest HRS customer last marketing year and sales so far in 2023-24 are up nearly 20% - a positive for HRS demand!

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